A police officer who put a young man into a chokehold which caused his death has today been fired – nearly one year on from the misdemeanour.
Jason Rosenblatt also recently received pictures of colleagues mocking Elijah McClain’s death and replied “haha” to them.
He and the colleagues – Erica Marrero and Kyle Dittrich – have all lost their jobs and a fourth officer, Jaron Jones, who also featured in the sick pictures, has resigned.
The new photos show the three officers on duty and in uniform as they reenacted the fatal arrest in Aurora, Colorado.
Chief Vanessa Wilson, boss of Aurora Police Department, said: “We are ashamed, we are sickened, and we are angry. [The photographs] are a crime against humanity and decency.”
Mr McClain, 23, died after police, including Rosenblatt, held him in a chokehold on August 24, 2019. The massage therapist had been stopped “for being suspicious” in the suburb of Denver.
His mum is understood to be “devastated” to have seen the photos of the officers mocking the death.
But The Aurora Police Association, the union for officers, called it “a rush to judgment”. It said on Facebook that the investigation took nine days, while a standard internal affairs case takes months.
Recently though, several police agencies have taken swift action to punish and, in some cases charge officers, including those involved in George Floyd’s death on 25 May in Minneapolis.
Vigils have been held across the world recently for both Mr Floyd and Mr McClain, who loved animals and taught himself to play the violin.
Police used pepper spray last week to stop a violin vigil for Mr McClain becoming violent.