AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)- The Aurora Civil Service Commission has upheld the termination of three Aurora police officers who took pictures near where Elijah McClain was detained before his death. The Aurora Police Department fired two of the three officers who posed for photos at the Elijah McClain memorial. The other officer resigned.
One photo shows the officers reenacting the chokehold used on McClain, 23, who later died after an encounter with police.
Jaron Jones, in the center of the photos, resigned. His record shows that he was going to be terminated and he will not be allowed to be a police officer anywhere in Colorado.
Erica Marrero and Kyle Dittrich, also seen in the photos, were fired.
"I fully supported Chief Wilson's firing of Officers Dittrich, Marrero and Rosenblatt, and am encouraged that the Civil Service Commission agreed and upheld her decision," said Aurora City Manager Jim Twombly in a statement.
"The Civil Service Commission plays an independent role in ensuring our community is being served by police officers of the highest quality. I too share that very important role and support it by retaining police officers who embody that high standard. Aurora police officers are expected to serve our community with dignity, respect and a sense of humanity. I am pleased with the Civil Service Commission's decision to uphold my discipline of Mr. Dittrich, Ms. Marrero and Mr. Rosenblatt. I want to thank City Manager Twombly for his faith in me and my decisions. We are aligned in our commitment to providing our community the police department they deserve. This supportive decision of the Civil Service Commission enables us to take another step forward on our path to a new way in rebuilding trust with our community through transparency and accountability," said Aurora Police Chief Vanessa Wilson.
The picture was sent to another Aurora police officer, Jason Rosenblatt. Rosenblatt was one of the three Aurora police officers involved in the encounter with McClain in August 2019. He responded "Haha" to the image. He was also fired.
McClain was walking home from a store where he purchased tea for his brother in August 2019 when a passerby called 911 and reported McClain was acting odd. After a confrontation with police, McClain was placed in a chokehold, and tackled to the ground. Eventually he was given ketamine, a sedative, by an Aurora Fire Department paramedic. He died a few days later.
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