In a significant development, a Colorado police officer has been found guilty in connection with the tragic death of Elijah McClain in August 2019. Meanwhile, another former officer involved in the case has been acquitted of all charges.
Randy Roedema, who has remained an Aurora, Colorado, police officer since McClain’s passing, was convicted of “criminally negligent homicide and assault” related to McClain’s death. However, Roedema is currently suspended from duty.
On the other hand, former officer Jason Rosenblatt has been acquitted of all charges, including “reckless manslaughter and assault.” Rosenblatt was dismissed from the force in 2020 after reportedly making an insensitive response to a photo reenacting McClain’s death.
A 12-person jury reached these verdicts after 16 hours of deliberation over three days. Roedema’s attorney, Reid Elkus, offered comfort to the officer’s wife after the verdict, noting that jail time might not be mandatory for Roedema. Roedema is scheduled for sentencing on January 5, 2024, and could face up to six years in prison if convicted.
It’s worth mentioning that Roedema and Rosenblatt are the first two of five police officers and paramedics to stand trial in connection to McClain’s death. The others, including suspended officer Nathan Woodyard and suspended paramedics Jeremy Cooper and Peter Cichuniec, will face trial in the coming weeks, all pleading not guilty to their charges.
Elijah McClain’s mother, Sheneen McClain, expressed her disappointment with the verdict, calling it a “misuse of taxpayer’s money” and stating that it falls short of justice. She emphasized that the potential six-year sentence for Roedema is insufficient, as he had accomplices in the incident.
In contrast, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser hopes that the verdict can serve as a “sign of healing” for the Aurora community and beyond, emphasizing that everyone is accountable under the law.