In a packed courtroom, attorneys described the night Elijah McClain died.
The prosecution recounted a sinister scene.
"This is not just a tragedy, not just careless or sloppy it was cruel & showed a disregard for Elijah McClain their patient, a person," said Shannon Stevenson, Colorado solicitor general.
Defense attorneys for Aurora Fire paramedics Peter Cichuniec and Jeremy Cooper walked into a chaotic scene caused and controlled by police.
"They are being told by law enforcement that this person has been fighting all of them, it took all of them to get him to the ground they are being told he has superhuman strength," said Shan Beggan, defense attorney for Jeremy Cooper.
The defense says that it was the information from police led to a determination that McClain was suffering from excited delirium and the treatment under their training is to use ketamine.
"Here we are four years later having the time to look at all of that information all that video to slow it down to study it in great detail pause it analyze it look at all the medical look at all the information and sit in judgement of paramedic Cichuniec and paramedic Cooper, they literally had minutes to make a decision follow a protocol and do what they need to do," said Cichuniec's Defense Attorney Mike Low during their opening statements.
The use of that sedative is at the center of the case after an amended autopsy determined McClain died from "complications of ketamine administration following forcible restraint."
Prosecutors telling the jury that evidence will show the paramedics didn't properly assess McClain before injecting him with what they say is the maximum amount of ketamine allowed and far too much for someone McClain's size.
"They made that decision without speaking a single word to him without touching him with a single finger. not to check his pulse not to listen to his breathing not to check his airway," Stevenson said.
Following opening statements, the jury heard from three witnesses including the owner of the convenience store McClain was walking home from, two dispatchers and a lieutenant with the Aurora Police Department who oversees the body worn cameras in the department.
for more features.