Colorado: a court finds the officer accused of the murder of Elijah McClain not guilty

Police officer Nathan Woodyard, who, in 2020, was suspended from employment without pay for his involvement, has been found not guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

A Colorado court found former Aurora Police Department officer, Nathan Woodyard, not guilty of the manslaughter of Elijah McClain. The agent, suspended from employment without pay in this case in 2020, is the last of the three officers who went on trial for the 2019 murder of the 23-year-old black man.

That same jury found Officer Randy Roedema, guilty of criminally negligent homicide. His partner, Officer Jason Rosenblatt, was cleared of all charges when the jury found the officer innocent.

Woodyard, however, differs from his colleagues in that he decided to take the stand and testify about what happened the day McClain died, as reported by CBS News. According to him, he decided to grab McClain by the neck and choke him as he feared for his life after hearing the young man say: "I intend to get my power back." A statement that he claimed, was made worse when he heard another agent say: "he just grabbed your gun, dude."

Two other paramedics must also go to court to testify in this same case. They are accused of giving McClain ketamine, a strong sedative that tends to be used in very agitated patients reports Reuters.

McClain's death went unnoticed in 2019. However, a year later, the death of George Floyd brought McClain's case back to the headlines. After a few weeks of protests, Jared Polis, governor of Colorado, appointed a special prosecutor for the case in June 2020. In 2021, a state grand jury indicted the officers and paramedics.