Headlines September 2, 2021
Grand Jury Issues 32 Count Indictment Against Aurora Police And Paramedics Involved In Elijah McClain’s Death
A grand jury yesterday issued 32 indictments against three Aurora police officers and two paramedics involved in the 2019 death of Elijah McClain. McClain’s death is believed to have been caused by a combination of the injection of an overdose of the sedative ketamine by paramedics and police using dangerous methods of physical restraint, including a chokehold. The actions of the police and paramedics were captured on video. Twenty-three year old Elijah McClain was then taken to a hospital where he was declared brain dead days later.
The governor appointed Attorney General Phil Weiser as a special prosecutor to investigate the death of Mr. McClain. Weiser’s office announced yesterday that the three officers and the two paramedics all face homicide and manslaughter charges. The ketamine used was classified as a deadly weapon in the assault charges. A news release from Weiser’s office clarifies a grand jury indictment is – quote – “a formal accusation, based on a determination of probable cause, that an individual committed a crime under Colorado law. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”
The Denver Gazette reports Weiser is also doing a civil investigation into whether the Aurora Police Department has a pattern of violating civil rights of its community members. The former district attorney for Adams and Broomfield counties previously declined to press charges against the officers.
Wildlife Conservation Groups Warn BLM Proposal Threatens Colorado’s Bighorn Sheep Populations
The Bureau of Land Management is proposing to reauthorize domestic sheep grazing in areas that could transmit a fatal form of pneumonia to native born bighorn sheep herds. The decision also allows domestic sheep grazing within the habitat of Gunnison sage-grouse, a ground nesting bird listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.
The decision would allow private livestock owners to continue to lease nine public lands grazing allotments in the Gunnison Basin for at least 10 years. The decision does ask the herders to avoid areas mapped by Colorado Parks and Wildlife as bighorn sheep summer habitat, but the livestock grazing allowed is just outside those boundaries.
Greg Dyson of the group Wild Earth Guardians said that Bighorn sheep have been decimated by livestock-borne diseases for more than a century. He feels that it’s time for federal agencies to stop prioritizing profit over saving native species on public land.
Boulder’s Table Mesa King Soopers Under Renovation
Renovations and construction have begun at the Boulder Table Mesa King Soopers, the site of the March 22nd mass shooting. The Daily Camera reports a King Soopers representative has indicated the store will undergo a full design of its interior, exterior and parking lot areas. The representative said the changes are based on feedback given by employees and community members. The Daily Camera also reports defense attorneys for the mass shooting suspect have filed a sealed motion yesterday expressing doubt about the defendant’s competency to stand trial. The judge is expected to address the competency issue during the upcoming preliminary hearing scheduled for Tuesday, September 7th.
COVID-19 Cases Rising Fast Among Colorado Children
State health officials indicate that in recent weeks new COVID-19 cases are rising faster in Colorado children than adults and hospitalizations among children have increased slightly. Unvaccinated adults, however, continue to make up the largest group of hospitalized COVID patients. Since August, state health officials have identified COVID-19 outbreaks in 14 schools, eight childcare centers, one summer camp, and a vacation Bible school. The state is now requiring hospitals to report how many ICU beds are available and if the ICU beds are for adults or children.
Dangerous Counterfeit Pills Circulating In Boulder County
Boulder County health officials are warning residents that tainted and potentially deadly counterfeit pills are currently circulating in the county. The counterfeit pills, which include many brand names and similar appearances to Oxycodone, M/30, Xanax, and others – reportedly may contain traces of fentanyl or other dangerous additives. The additives may lead to serious medical conditions or death.