Headlines February 23, 2021
Investigation Shows Aurora Police Had No Reason to Stop Elijah McClain
An independent investigation into the death of Elijah McClain found that Aurora police had no justification for stopping him or for putting him in a chokehold during an August 2019 incident. In a report released yesterday, investigators also concluded that paramedics did not examine McClain before following police direction to inject him with an excessive dose of the powerful sedative ketamine. The 23-year-old suffered a heart attack on the way to the hospital and was later declared brain dead.
The report also criticized the initial investigation into Mc Clain’s death. According to the report, the detectives assigned to examine police conduct failed to meaningfully investigate what happened. It states that the body camera and audio recordings contradict the arresting officers’ statements. The officers told their colleagues from the police department that there was a violent struggle. The recordings do not show any evidence of that and instead show McClain apologizing, explaining, and crying out in pain while surrounded by officers.
In addition to this report commissioned by the city of Aurora, the Colorado Attorney General asked a grand jury to look into the incident and the US Justice Dept is also investigating for civil rights violations. Elijah McClain’s mother, speaking to the Denver Post, said she’s glad the report exonerated her son and made it clear that he was a victim, not a suspect. She called on the city to fire the officers and paramedics involved. The McClain family has filed a federal lawsuit against the city.
New Vista High School in Boulder Needs New Building
A working group of teachers, students, and community members have recommended building a new school instead of renovating the current facility.
The group made the recommendation for building a new school after determining that renovating the existing building would cost almost as much as building new — and still wouldn’t fully address the small, non-traditional high school’s needs.
Boulder Valley District officials say the school’s 68-year-old building, formerly Baseline Middle School, isn’t designed for high school students and has multiple structural issues.
The Daily Camera reports that the school district has about $12 million from a bond issue for the New Vista School. With that in mind, the working group looked at proceeding with a lower cost of renovation, costing $20 million which would add 15 to 20 years of life to the building. Or extensively renovate the existing building, costing over $30 million, and extend the building life 25 to 35 years. Or build a new school on the current site, estimated to cost over $35 million.
The current campus does have space to build a new school while allowing students to stay in the current building.
The Boulder Valley school board will have a meeting to discuss the recommendation tonight starting at 5 p.m., which will be streamed live at bvsd.org/bv22 or on Comcast channel 22.
Broomfield Residents Still Finding Plane Parts
Broomfield police are asking residents to stop calling about plane parts they find in the aftermath of Saturday’s airplane engine explosion that showered the city. A police spokeswoman says the department was overwhelmed by calls.
They say they’ve already recovered dozens of parts and have passed them on to the National Transportation Safety Board, the federal agency that investigates airplane accidents. The debris fell from a United Airlines flight bound for Hawaii. Initial reports say metal fatigue in the engine caused it to break apart. It’s a similar engine to the one that also rained debris on a residential neighborhood in the Netherlands Saturday, injuring two people. United Airlines has now grounded its Boeing 777 planes with that engine and the Federal Aviation Administration has ordered additional inspections for that model.