Thousands gather across the country to remember Elijah McClain

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The memorial site across the street from where 23-year-old Elijah McClain was stopped by Aurora, Colo., Police Department officers while walking home during a news conference Friday, July 3, 2020, in Aurora, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

AURORA | Vigils, protests and musical memorials held in honor of Elijah McClain continued over the weekend with a pair of events in Aurora and several others across the country.

Nearly 1,000 people laid flowers and lighted candles at a memorial for McClain at Aurora’s Utah Park July 11. A day later, more than 400 cars snaked through city streets as part of a vehicle protest for McClain organized by the Party for Socialism and Liberation. Organizers have demanded that police brass fire the remaining officers who were involved in detaining McClain last August.

A third officer involved in arresting the 23-year-old Aurora man, Jason Rosenblatt, was fired earlier this month for his involvement in the dissemination of a photo mocking McClain’s death. Rosenblatt and a pair of other officers fired for taking the photo, Erica Marrero and Kyle Dittrich, are in the process of appealing their terminations. A fourth officer involved in the scandal resigned.

The events this weekend came following several other local gatherings held in McClain’s memory, including a demonstration and violin vigil on June 27, and a so-called occupation of a north Aurora police station earlier this month.

Similar events have been held in New York, New Jersey, Illinois and multiple other states.

Tens of thousands of posts linked to the hashtag #ElijahMcClain continue to be posted to social media, and local agencies continue to receive thousands of emails, calls and letters calling for further investigation into McClain’s death.

The District Attorney who legally analyzed the case last year and declined to pursue criminal charges against the officers involved has said he does not plan to reinvestigate the case.

However, the state attorney general has since been tasked with mulling possible criminal charges against the officers who placed McClain into a carotid control hold after a 911 caller reported him looking “sketchy.” McClain was later injected with a powerful sedate and died at a hospital six days later.

The City of Aurora is also pursuing its own investigation into McClain’s death, though that query is slated to focus on possible changing city policies and protocols. Council members are expected to consider a roster of possible investigators at a public meeting later this week.