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Elijah McClain’s family speaks out as officers, medics charged in son’s death: ‘It’s a prayer answered’

The parents of Elijah McClain spoke out on Wednesday after Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser announced a 32-count indictment against three police officers and two paramedics involved in their son’s death.

McClain, a 23-year-old massage therapist from Aurora, Colorado, died on Aug. 30, 2019, after being apprehended by police as he was walking home from a convenience store.

“It’s a sliver of justice. I mean, full justice can never be done here because Elijah will never return to us … he’s dead and his family is going to have to go on without him for all time,” the family’s attorney, Iris Halpern, told ABC News.

“It’s a prayer answered,” McClain’s father, LaWayne Mosley, told ABC News, adding that he was “ecstatic” to learn of the indictment.

For McClain’s mother, Sheneen McClain, the charges are “a step toward justice.”

“I’m still praying for them to be in prison. My son’s murderers and their accomplices all need to be in prison for what they did to him,” she told ABC News. “They had no right to stop him. They had no right to handcuff him, brutalize and terrorize him, or inject him with ketamine.”

Charges against Aurora police officers Randy Roedema, Nathan Woodyard, former police officer Jason Rosenblatt and Aurora fire rescue paramedics Jeremy Cooper and Peter Chichuniec came as a result of a grand jury investigation opened in January.

“Each of the five defendants faces one count of manslaughter and one count of criminally negligent homicide,” Weiser said during a press conference on Wednesday.

Among the charges, Roedema and Rosenblatt each face a count of second-degree assault with intent to cause bodily injury, while Cooper and Chichuniec face one count of second-degree assault with intent to cause bodily injury and one count of second-degree assault for allegedly administering McClain the sedative drug ketamine without consent.

The Aurora Police Association Board of Directors defended the officers on Wednesday, saying in a statement, “There is no evidence that APD officers caused his death. The hysterical overreaction to this case has severely damaged the police department.”

Aurora Police Chief Vanessa Wilson and Aurora Fire Rescue Chief Fernando Gray both said that each of their departments will continue to cooperate as the judicial process moves forward.

McClain was apprehended by police on the night of Aug. 24, 2019, after a 911 caller said they saw someone “sketchy,” but “might be a good person or a bad person.”

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