Paramedic sentenced to 4 years of probation for Elijah McClain's death

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A Colorado paramedic has been sentenced to four years of probation for his role in the 2019 death of Elijah McClain. 

Jeremy Cooper, a former Aurora Fire Rescue paramedic, was convicted on Dec. 22 of criminally negligent homicide. He was the last of first responders to be sentenced for their roles in McClain’s death. 

McClain, a 23-year-old Black man, was walking home on Aug. 24, 2019, when he was stopped by police officers answering a call of a “suspicious individual” in the area. 

First responders placed him in a chokehold and administered 500 milligrams of ketamine. McClain went into cardiac arrest as a result of the drug, used as a local anesthetic, and later died at a hospital.  His death sparked nationwide protests. 

On Sept. 1, 2021, a grand jury returned indictments against three police officers and two paramedics.

Paramedic Peter Cichuniec, was sentenced to five years in prison on March 1 after being found guilty of criminally negligent homicide. 

Earlier this year, officer Randy Roedema was found guilty of criminally negligent homicide and sentenced to 14 months in jail. At the same trial, police officer Jason Rosenblatt was acquitted on charges of reckless manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and second-degree assault.

Rosenblatt later resigned from the force. 

In 2023, officer Nathan Woodyard was found not guilty of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide, but he resigned from the department on Jan. 12 after reaching a back pay settlement.

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