Racial Injustice Elijah McClain

Sheneen McClain is the mother of Elijah McClain, a young man who died after a stop by police in Aurora. She is pictured here in this March 3 file photograph.

Elijah McClain’s parents have yet to decide how much each one of them will receive of the $15 million dollar settlement they got from the city of Aurora in response to a federal lawsuit in his tragic death. Friday, the city of Aurora provided new information on how the money will be paid.

According to a statement by Aurora officials, the city’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.

Friday's hearing was supposed to finalize outstanding disputes between Elijah’s mother, Sheneen McClain, and his father, LaWayne Moseley, about the details of the settlement and allocation of the money, but that apparently has not happened.

“There is no amount of money in the world that will make up for losing my son, but hopefully this sends a message to police everywhere that there are consequences for their actions," said Mosley through his attorney, Mari Newman. "I hope Elijah’s legacy is that police will think twice before killing another innocent person."

Ms. McClain’s attorneys confirm that there will be a hearing in the near future to decide how the money will be distributed. A date for that hearing is undetermined at this time, said McClain attorney Siddhartha Rathod.

Rathod added, “It is an issue of fairness. Ms. McClain would give away every cent just for one more day with Elijah. It is unfair for someone to deny Elijah in life and then attempt to profit on him in death.”

Once Ms. McClain and Moseley dismiss the city and other named defendants in the lawsuit, the city will make payment of the settlement amount to the Court Registry to allow the family members to continue their allocation discussions.

McClain, a 23-year-old Black man, died Aug. 14, 2019, several days after police forcefully detained him as he walked home from a convenience store and put him in a control hold. Paramedics called to the scene injected McClain with the sedative ketamine. The dose was too large for McClain to handle.

The amount is reportedly the largest award ever in a police-related incident in Colorado history and one of the biggest in the country.

Aurora City Council approved the $15 million dollar settlement in a hearing this past July, but it is just now being made public.

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