US cop jailed for 14 months over death of Black man

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US cop jailed for 14 months over death of Black man

A white US police officer was given a 14-month jail sentence on Friday for the 2019 death of a young Black man who was choked by police and given ketamine.

Elijah McClain was killed in the western United States months before the famous killing of George Floyd. However, the killing got more attention soon after as protests against police brutality grew.

In 2020, a special investigation was started. In October, Randy Roedema was found guilty of killing, but two other police officers were found not guilty.

When Colorado judge Mark Werner gave Roedema his sentence on Friday, he said he was “shocked by what appeared to be, really, indifference to Elijah McClain’s suffering.”

Werner said that McClain “was handcuffed and really wasn’t much of a threat to anyone.”

McClain, 23, died in Aurora, near Denver, three days after cops put him in a chokehold and gave him ketamine to calm him down. He then had a heart attack.

The report from the district attorney said that police were called to the street to deal with a “suspicious” black man who was “acting weird” and wearing a ski mask. One cop said that McClain, who wasn’t carrying a gun, had reached for the gun of another officer.

McClain’s family said he had gone to get iced tea. He often wore the mask to stay warm because he had anaemia, they said. “Randy Roedema will always be a bully with a badge,” Elijah’s mother, Sheneen McClain, said on Friday, before the sentence.

She said, “Prison is the only accountable justice that Randy Roedema deserves” and criticised the “inhuman protocols” of the Colorado police. Roedema told the judge on Friday that he and his fellow officers had “responded the way we were trained to do.”

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