The trial of two paramedics, Jeremy Cooper and Peter Cichuniec, involved in the 2019 death of #ElijahMcClain opened with the #Colorado prosecutor alleging that the paramedics "did nothing" to aid McClain. The paramedics injected him with 500 milligrams of ketamine, deviating from protocol, after an encounter with the police in #Aurora, Colorado. According to the prosecutor, the paramedics failed to assess McClain's condition, injected him with an overdose of ketamine, and didn't check on him until his pulse was gone.
Cooper and Cichuniec face charges of criminally negligent homicide, second-degree assault, and crimes of violence. Cichuniec faces an additional manslaughter charge. The defense argued that they followed protocol due to concerns that McClain could pose a threat if he regained consciousness.
The incident began when McClain, a Black man, was stopped by police, subjected to force, and restrained. McClain pleaded for help, stating he couldn't breathe. The paramedics diagnosed him with excited delirium, administering a ketamine dose higher than recommended. McClain, who weighed 143 pounds, died days later, and the cause of death was listed as "complications of ketamine administration following forcible restraint."
This follows earlier convictions and acquittals related to McClain's death, including an officer found guilty of criminally negligent homicide. The prosecutor accused the paramedics of cruelty, emphasizing their disregard for McClain's life. The defense argued they made decisions based on information from law enforcement. The trial sheds light on the tragic events surrounding McClain's death and the actions of emergency responders involved.
The prosecution's allegations of neglect and cruelty highlight the urgency of reevaluating the way emergency responders approach individuals in distress, especially those from marginalized communities. This case represents a pivotal moment in the ongoing struggle for justice and accountability in cases of police violence and paramedic misconduct.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments.