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The last Aurora Police Department cop to stand trial in the 2019 homicide of 23-year-old Elijah McClain has been found not guilty. 

Disgraced police officer Nathan Woodyard was found not guilty of manslaughter November 6 by a Colorado jury. The Aurora Police Department still employs the 34-year-old man, but he has been on an unpaid suspension since 2020. Woodyard faced involuntary manslaughter and negligent homicide charges in connection to McClain’s tragic death. 

Woodyard’s defense attorney, Andrew Ho, maintained during the closing arguments that his client wasn’t responsible for McClain’s death because a revised September 2022 autopsy from two separate Colorado counties determined the 23-year-old Aurora resident died from “complications of ketamine administration following forcible restraint.”

“Nathan Woodyard did not kill Elijah McClain. He’s not responsible for what other people did. Ketamine is what killed Elijah McClain,” Ho told the court.

The 34-year-old cop accosted McClain as the thin man walked home from the store after buying an iced tea. The incident escalated as other officers and paramedics dropped the ball, insisting that McClain had gotten out of control. He was subjected to being placed in a carotid chokehold and eventually given ketamine. He vomited and complained that he couldn’t breathe. Cops failed to offer medical assistance. McClain was finally taken to a hospital, where he died three days later. 

Last month, former Aurora cop Randy Roedema was found guilty of criminally negligent homicide and third-degree assault. Another former cop, Jason Rosenblatt, was acquitted of the aforementioned charges. Roedema will be sentenced on January 5, 2024.

McClain’s mother, Sheneen, shared a stinging indictment of this nation and its justice system after the initial verdicts were rendered, according to NewsOne.

“This is America, and it was never great to the nations of people that were captured, enslaved, raped, and murdered for their lands or their labor. America needs to start telling the truth about its history and changing the way it treats all the people [who] pay into its systems of control. America is divided in so many ways, on so many levels, and in so many areas of understanding.”

Sheneen continued, “If America ever wants to be great, then it has to enforce equity as well as equality that is represented in every law and seat that every citizen is governed by. Don’t say sorry to me for humans that fail even their own kind. My soul still cries out for Divine Justice For My Son, Elijah McClain.”

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