Colorado Cop Convicted of Killing Elijah McClain Receives Lenient 14-Month Jail Sentence

AURORA, Colo. – Former police officer Randy Roedema, the only Colorado cop convicted in the death of Elijah McClain, has been sentenced to 14 months in jail. McClain, a 23-year-old massage therapist, died after being stopped by police in August 2019. Roedema was convicted of homicide and third-degree assault, while Nathan Woodyard and Jason Rosenblatt, the other officers involved, were acquitted.

McClain was walking home from a convenience store when he was stopped by police. He was placed in a neck hold and injected with an overdose of ketamine. He died shortly after the encounter. The case became a focal point for racial justice protests after the murder of George Floyd in 2020.

The officers’ actions have since been under scrutiny, and Colorado Governor Jared Polis ordered for the case to be re-investigated in 2020. As a result, a grand jury indicted the officers and paramedics in 2021.

The killing of McClain, along with other similar events, sparked legislative changes in over two dozen states to limit the use of neck holds by the police. McClain’s death also gained widespread attention during protests against racial injustice and police brutality.

In a statement released prior to the paramedics’ verdict, McClain’s mother criticized the lack of humanity shown by everyone involved in her son’s police stop. The defense argued that the paramedics followed their training in giving ketamine for “excited delirium,” a disputed condition used to justify excessive force.

McClain’s case serves as a reminder of the ongoing struggle for justice and police accountability, especially in cases involving the use of force and the African American community.