LILLIAN HOUSE: Sentinel Colorado editorial faulting Elijah McClain protesters is the real offense


EDITOR: Sentinel Colorado’s Nov. 11 editorial, “Don’t undermine Aurora public meetings by hiding — arrest illegal disrupters,” sends an ugly message.

The Sentinel admits that Aurora Police “mishandled” the case of Elijah McClain —maybe even murdered him — but their conclusion is that “profane” protesters at city council meetings are the real problem.

Let’s be clear. It is police terror, not public protest, that is the problem.

In August, Aurora cops jumped Elijah McClain, a young Black man, for looking “suspicious”. Elijah was unarmed, suspected of no crime and posed no threat. He was known to family and neighbors as a kind, loving person who made friends everywhere he went. Yet Aurora police brutally attacked him, choked him and put him in a hospital where he died of brain injury.

Twelve weeks later, Elijah’s killers are not in jail pending trial for murder — they are back on duty, collecting public salaries! The police body camera footage and other recordings remain secret to the public. The only “investigation” of this incident is being done by Aurora police themselves.

This is outrageous.

What is the community supposed to do? One of the few, small ways we are allowed to “democratically” participate in local government is to submit public comment at city council meetings.

For week after week, we have shown up and used our three minutes to demand the police footage, an independent investigation, and justice for Elijah’s family and community.

But our words fall on deaf ears. The mayor and council members sit silently and refuse to answer questions. City council member Dave Gruber has even been seen reading on his Kindle.

Is it any wonder we are fighting to make our voices heard, whatever form that takes?

Aurora cops stole an innocent young Black man’s life. They killed Elijah with their bare hands, choking him until he could not breathe. Elijah has been violently ripped away from his family and friends forever.

Yet his killers face no consequences.

If the Sentinel Editorial Board finds that less offensive than a community member using the “F-word”… what does that say about you?

— Lillian House, Aurora, via [email protected] House organizes with with the Party for Socialism and Liberation in Denver.