Former Aurora Police Officer Calls for Changes Following Sentencing in Elijah McClain Case

DENVER, Colorado – Former Aurora police officer Randy Roedema, who was the first to be sentenced in the death of Elijah McClain, called for changes in how first responders are trained to handle similar cases. Roedema, found guilty of third-degree assault and criminally negligent homicide in October, was sentenced to 14 months in jail and four years of probation. He addressed the judge for about four minutes before the sentencing, expressing condolences to McClain’s family and lamenting the events of the evening of August 24, 2019.

During the encounter, another officer put McClain in a neck hold and paramedics administered a heavy dose of ketamine. Roedema emphasized that all responders acted according to their training and expressed hope that steps will be taken to improve first responder training.

Changes in Colorado policing since McClain’s death include a police accountability bill signed into law in 2020, addressing use of force, ketamine administration, and reporting requirements for police departments. Additionally, in February 2022, Aurora’s police and fire departments entered into a consent decree focused on improving policies and officer training in response to McClain’s death.

In his plea for a minimum sentence, Roedema portrayed himself as a rule-follower and a person of integrity. He mentioned that he has begun working a different job after being terminated by the police department. Roedema has until March 22 to report to the Adams County Jail to begin his 14-month sentence, which comes with a work release. He also received four years of probation and 200 hours of community service as part of his sentencing.

The outcome of Roedema’s sentencing is part of the ongoing change and scrutiny surrounding the handling of cases like McClain’s, reflecting a nationwide call for improved training and accountability for law enforcement and first responders.