Jury acquits 2nd police officer in Elijah McClain’s death. Why?

Elijah McClain’s mother wiped tears from her eyes as a verdict was read Monday acquitting a second Denver-area police officer in the 2019 death of her son.

Two of three officers to face trial so far avoided prison time after being found not guilty, leaving Sheneen McClain and police reform advocates still searching for justice. Elijah McClain’s death fueled national outrage about racial injustice in policing after the 23-year-old Black man was put in a neck hold and injected with an overdose of ketamine after police stopped him as he walked home from a convenience store.

In the most recent trial, a 12-person jury found Aurora officer Nathan Woodyard, who put Mr. McClain in the neck hold, not guilty of homicide and manslaughter following a weeks-long trial in state district court. He faced years in prison if convicted.

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