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Dozens gathered in downtown Colorado Springs to demand justice for Elijah McClain Sunday. (Photo courtesy of KKTV)

Dozens of protesters gathered in downtown Colorado Springs to demand justice for Elijah McClain on Sunday. 

McClain, 23, died after an encounter with Aurora police in 2019. Officers responding to a call of a suspicious person wearing a mask confronted McClain as he was walking home last August. During the encounter, McClain was put into a choke hold. When paramedics arrived, they administered a sedative to calm him down. McClain went into cardiac arrest on the way to the hospital. He died after being taken off life support days later.

The case has made national headlines in recent days after receiving renewed attention in the wake of worldwide protests against police brutality. Last week, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser was appointed by Gov. Jared Polis to look into whether charges should be filed against Aurora police in his death of the 23-year-old. 

The Colorado Springs protest followed a protest in Aurora Saturday in which thousands gathered to call for justice. Interstate 225 was closed while protesters marched and chanted his name.

In the evening, Aurora police reported that officers deployed pepper spray after people in the crowd threw rocks and water bottles. Not far from where protesters clashed with police, musicians gathered for a violin vigil for McClain, who's  been described as a self-taught violinist. 

Protesters on Sunday in Colorado Springs say they will continue to protest until something changes within departments across the U.S.

"We want to get funds that are going towards the police to be allocated to other things," organizer Jasmine Dunn explained. "We want things like education, after-school programs, a lot of money goes into the police department and we know that money can be better for the people. "

The Gazette contributed to this report. Read more at 


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