AURORA, Colo. — Three suburban Denver officers were fired Friday after they took a photograph showing a chokehold in front of the memorial for Elijah McClain, who died after a confrontation with officers from the Aurora Police Department last year, officials said.
McClain, 23, was pronounced dead on Aug. 27, 2019 -- a few days after he went into cardiac arrest following a struggle with officers from the Aurora Police Department, KUSA reported.
A third officer involved resigned, the television station reported. A fourth officer, who took the photo also was fired.
The officers depicted in the photos were identified as Erica Marrero, Kyle Dittrich and Jaron Jones, who resigned Tuesday. His resignation was announced on Thursday.
“I speak for all men and women of APD we are ashamed and sickened over what we have to share with you,” Interim APD Chief Vanessa Wilson said at a news conference.
According to documents released by the Aurora Police Department on Friday, the photos were texted to Officer Jason Rosenblatt, who responded with “HaHa.” Rosenblatt is one of the three officers who responded the night of McClain’s death, and Williams said he has also been fired.
Rosenblatt was also involved in the initial incident involving McClain, KDVR reported. Wilson said, however, that Rosenblatt’s firing was specifically because of his response to the photo
“The officers’ actions in these photos are appalling and inexcusable and will not be tolerated by the Interim Chief or by me,” Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman said in a statement. “I agree with Interim Chief Wilson’s decisions, but this is not the end of our response. More action is needed, including the independent investigation that will soon get underway into the tragic death of Elijah McClain. We must ensure that we have the answers our community needs, city leadership needs, and most importantly, Elijah’s family deserves.”
Protesters surrounded an Aurora Police Department precinct Friday evening, chanting “why are you in riot gear?” KUSA reported. The leaders of the demonstrators said they planned to remain around the precinct until the remaining two officers involved in McClain’s death are fired, the television station reported.