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Officer Acquitted In Elijah McClain's Death Nathan Woodyard Gets Job Back and $200,000 Back Pay

#Colorado police officer Nathan Woodyard, involved in the 2019 stop and subsequent death of #ElijahMcClain, has been reinstated to the Aurora #Police Department and is receiving $200,000 in back pay. This decision follows Woodyard's recent acquittal on charges of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide. Despite his suspension without pay for two years after being indicted, city law mandates the offer of reinstatement post-acquittal.

The incident in question unfolded when officers confronted McClain, a 23-year-old massage therapist, leading to a struggle where Woodyard applied a neck hold. McClain, who lost consciousness, was later injected with a fatal dose of ketamine. The event sparked nationwide protests and outrage. Despite Woodyard's role in McClain's death, the jury found him not guilty, allowing his return to the police force.

Woodyard, currently on restricted duty pending reintegration, cited fear for his life as justification for the use of force. The tragic incident involved excessive police force, with McClain repeatedly stating he couldn't breathe. The coroner attributed the cause of death to ketamine administration following forcible restraint.

The reinstatement decision raises questions about accountability and justice, especially as it aligns with a trend where officers implicated in high-profile cases return to duty. Meanwhile, another officer involved in the case was found guilty, and paramedics are facing trial. The news reflects the ongoing debate surrounding police conduct and the need for #abolitionnow.

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