The City of Aurora, Colorado and the family of Elijah McClain formally agreed on Nov. 19 to a $15 million settlement to resolve a civil lawsuit filed by McClain’s family regarding his 2019 death.
The deal was announced in October with an agreement in principle, but the details weren’t finalized until this week as the parties decided how the money would be distributed. McClain was killed on Aug. 30, 2019 after the 23-year-old Black man was put in a now-illegal chokehold by police officers and injected with 500 milligrams of ketamine, which was well over the recommended amount for his body weight.
“No amount of money will ever bring Elijah back to his mother. Ms. McClain would return every cent for just one more day with her son,” her attorneys said in a statement confirming the settlement.
The city of Aurora’s excess liability insurance policy will cover $10 million of the settlement which is the maximum amount the policy will pay. The remaining $5 million will be paid out of the city’s General Fund. Aurora City Council approved the $15 million settlement agreement during a July executive session meeting after negotiations that began earlier this year.
McClain’s parents Sheneen McClain and LeWayne Mosley had their own issues which slowed up the announcement as they decided how the funds will be divided. Attorneys for the City of Aurora asked the judge to approve the agreement during the hearing, which would resolve the civil lawsuit and end the city’s involvement.
The lawyers explained that all parties have agreed to the settlement amount and said the city has no interest in how the money is distributed. They said the fight over the funds could continue after the agreement is made final through a probate court. As part of the agreement, McClain’s parents will remove the city and the other named defendants in the civil lawsuit.
In September, a grand jury returned a 32-count indictment charging one current and two former Aurora police officers in connection with McClain’s death. Two Aurora fire rescue paramedics were also named in the indictment. The five first responders each face one count of manslaughter and one count of criminally negligent homicide.
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