Aurora, CO – A violin vigil dedicated to the death of Elijah McClain ended when police used force and teargas to dismantle the service.
The event held was one of peace as police in riot gear surrounded the event. Video footage of the event shows police in black-clad gear.
Elijah McClain was walking home in 2019 when a cop stopped him due to reports of “suspicious activity”. Through an altercation, the police officer held McClain in a chokehold for an extended period of time. The 23-year-old was walking home after playing the violin for the local animal shelter.
“I can’t breathe. I have my ID right here. My name is Elijah McClain. That’s my house. I was just going home. I’m an introvert. I’m just different. That’s all. I’m so sorry. Have no gun… I don’t do any fighting. Why are you attacking me? I don’t even kill flies! I don’t eat meat! But I don’t judge people, I don’t judge people who do eat meat. Forgive me. All I was trying to do was become better. I will do it. I will do anything. Sacrifice my identity, I’ll do it. You all are phenomenal. You are beautiful and I love you. Try to forgive me. I’m a mood Gemini. I’m so sorry. Ow, that really hurt. You are all very strong. Teamwork makes the dream work. Oh, I’m sorry I wasn’t trying to do that. I just can’t breathe correctly.”
Elijah McClain Adds To The Names Of Police Brutality
The news of his death comes at a time of civil unrest with the country. As police throughout the nation are indicted on increasing acts of violence and racism.
The United States has a long and violent history with handling minorities. After the abolishment of slavery, the era of Jim Crowe laws gave black individuals the right to “separate but equal” resources. After Jim Crowe was overturned, the civil rights movement furthered the fight for equality in the United States.
While many police precincts are doubling down on their behavior many are starting to reform their practice and protocols. Colorado has since banned chokeholds from their list of tactics.