Elijah McClain

McClain, ElijahName: Elijah McClain.
Died: August 30, 2019.
Age at death: 23.
Cause of death: Restraint-related (Death in restraint; chokehold, sedated with ketamine).
Location: Aurora, Colorado, USA.

Elijah was home-schooled as a child, bright but independent. He worked as a massage therapist. Family described him as a “spiritual seeker, pacifist, oddball, vegetarian, athlete, and peacemaker who was exceedingly gentle.” An acquaintance said they thought Elijah wouldn’t so much as set a mouse trap for a rodent problem.

Elijah was walking down the road one evening, waving his arms. He had anemia and his face often got very cold; so he was wearing a ski mask at the time. Someone called the police. The police pinned Elijah down, restrained him, choked him, and cut off blood flow to his brain. Repeatedly apologizing, Elijah struggled to get a breath. Paramedics sedated him with a huge dose of ketamine for “excited delirium”, a diagnosis that is usually used to explain death from the stress put on someone’s body when they panic while being restrained. He passed out, was taken to the hospital, and was declared brain dead a few days later.

Autism Awareness Month – Remembering Elijah McClain
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The death of Elijah McClain—reflections on living with autism while Black
Death of Elijah McClain
1 year after death of Elijah McClain, ketamine injections during arrests draw scrutiny

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