Wed. Jun 19th, 2024

Paramedics convicted: Elijah McClain verdict stirs First Responder reform<!-- wp:html --><p><a href="https://whatsnew2day.com/">WhatsNew2Day - Latest News And Breaking Headlines</a></p> <div> <p>Two Denver-area paramedics were convicted Friday of administering a fatal overdose of the sedative ketamine to Elijah McClain in 2019, a jury verdict that experts say could have a chilling effect on first responders across the country.</p> <p>The case involving the death of the 23-year-old Black man was the first of several recent criminal trials against medical first responders to go to trial, potentially setting the bar for prosecutors in future cases.</p> <p>It was also the last of three trials against police officers and paramedics charged in the death of Mr. McClain, whom officers detained following a suspicious person report. They injected him with the sedative after forcibly restraining him. The case received little attention until protests over the 2020 killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.</p> <p>An Aurora police officer was found guilty of third-degree murder and assault earlier this year, while two other officers were acquitted.</p> <p>On Friday, the jury found Aurora Fire Rescue paramedics Jeremy Cooper and Peter Cichuniec guilty of criminally negligent homicide following a week-long trial in state district court. They could face years in prison at sentencing.</p> <p>The jury also found Mr. Cichuniec guilty of one of two counts of second-degree assault, which carries the possibility of an enhanced prison sentence, and required that he be taken into immediate custody. Mr. Cooper was found not guilty of the assault charges and was not arrested.</p> <p>Mr. McClain’s mother, Sheneen, pumped her fist in the air after the verdict. “We did it! We did it! We did it!” she said as she walked away from the courthouse.</p> <p>Mr. Cichuniec’s wife had her head bowed as the officers handcuffed him. Mr. Cooper’s wife sobbed beside her.</p> <p>Neither the paramedics nor their attorneys spoke outside court. They did not immediately respond to emails and phone messages from The Associated Press seeking comment.</p> <p>The result could set a precedent for how emergency personnel respond to situations with people in police custody, said University of Miami criminologist Alex Piquero.</p> <p>“Imagine if you were a paramedic,” Piquero said. “They might hesitate. They might say, ‘I’m not going to do anything’ or ‘I’m going to do less.’ I don’t want to be found guilty.’”</p> <p>The International Association of Firefighters said in a statement that by filing the charges, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser had criminalized split-second medical decisions and set “a dangerous and chilling precedent for pre-hospital care.”</p> <p>Weiser, who convened the grand jury that indicted the first responders, said he was pleased with the verdict.</p> <p>“We remain confident that bringing these cases was the right thing to do for justice to be served for Elijah McClain and for the healing of the Aurora community,” he said outside court.</p> <p>The city of Aurora said Friday night that the two paramedics were fired following their convictions.</p> <p>The verdict was announced after two days of deliberations. When jurors told the judge Friday afternoon that they were stuck on one of the counts, the judge told them to keep trying to reach a verdict.</p> <p>Police detained Mr. McClain while walking home from a convenience store on August 24, 2019, following a suspicious person report. After one officer said McClain grabbed an officer’s gun (a claim disputed by prosecutors), another officer grabbed him by the neck, rendering him temporarily unconscious. Officers also restrained McClain before Cooper injected him with an overdose of ketamine. Mr. Cichuniec was the senior officer and said it was his decision to use ketamine.</p> <p>Prosecutors said paramedics failed to perform basic medical checks on Mr. McClain, such as taking his pulse, before giving him ketamine. The dose was too much for someone his size: 140 pounds, experts testified. Prosecutors say they also did not monitor McClain immediately after giving him the sedative, but instead left him lying on the floor, making it difficult for him to breathe.</p> <p>Mr. McClain’s pleading words captured on police body camera video, “I am introverted and different,” struck a chord with protesters and people across the country.</p> <p>In a statement released before the verdict, McClain’s mother said everyone present during her son’s police detention showed a lack of humanity.</p> <p>“You cannot blame your job training for your indifference to evil or your participation in evil action,” McClain wrote. “That is completely up to them. May all their souls rot in hell when their time comes.”</p> <p>Defense attorneys argued that paramedics followed their training in administering ketamine to Mr. McClain after diagnosing him with “excited delirium,” a controversial condition that some say is unscientific and has been used to justify excessive use of force.</p> <p>The verdicts came after a Washington state jury on Thursday acquitted three police officers of all criminal charges in the 2020 death of Manuel Ellis, a Black man who was electrocuted, beaten and pinned face down on a sidewalk. of Tacoma as he begged to be allowed to breathe. .</p> <p>In the Colorado case, prosecutors said Cooper lied to investigators to try to cover up his actions, telling detectives that McClain was actively resisting when he decided to inject him with ketamine, even though body camera showed Mr. McClain lying down. on the ground unconscious. He also disputed Mr. Cooper’s claim that Mr. McClain tried to escape from police restraining him and that he took Mr. McClain’s pulse as he leaned over to give him the ketamine injection, which others testified they did not see. .</p> <p>“You are trying to cover up the recklessness of your conduct,” Deputy Attorney General Jason Slothouber told jurors in his closing statements.</p> <p>Cichuniec, who testified alongside Cooper this week, said paramedics were trained that they had to work quickly to treat excited delirium with ketamine and said they were told numerous times that it was a safe and effective medication and were not warned about it. . the possibility of killing anyone.</p> <p>Colorado now tells paramedics not to administer ketamine to people suspected of having the controversial condition, which has symptoms including increased strength and has been associated with racial bias against black men.</p> <p>When the police detained Mr. McClain, a masseuse, he was listening to music and was wearing a mask that covered most of his face because he had a blood circulation disorder. The police stop quickly turned physical after McClain, apparently caught off guard, asked to be left alone. He had not been accused of committing any crime.</p> <p>The prominence of the case means that the specter of criminal charges and the accompanying demands on emergency care will be a concern for paramedics in the future, said Arizona State University law professor James G. Hodge, Jr. .</p> <p>It could prompt them to better document what police tell them about people who need treatment and ask doctors to sign off before paramedics use treatments that save lives but are potentially harmful to patients, he said.</p> <p>“The national coverage of cases against these paramedics certainly influences real-time practices,” Hodge said.</p> <p>This story was reported by The Associated Press. Matthew Brown reported from Billings, Montana.</p> </div> <p><a href="https://whatsnew2day.com/paramedics-convicted-elijah-mcclain-verdict-stirs-first-responder-reform/">Paramedics convicted: Elijah McClain verdict stirs First Responder reform</a></p><!-- /wp:html -->

WhatsNew2Day – Latest News And Breaking Headlines

Two Denver-area paramedics were convicted Friday of administering a fatal overdose of the sedative ketamine to Elijah McClain in 2019, a jury verdict that experts say could have a chilling effect on first responders across the country.

The case involving the death of the 23-year-old Black man was the first of several recent criminal trials against medical first responders to go to trial, potentially setting the bar for prosecutors in future cases.

It was also the last of three trials against police officers and paramedics charged in the death of Mr. McClain, whom officers detained following a suspicious person report. They injected him with the sedative after forcibly restraining him. The case received little attention until protests over the 2020 killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

An Aurora police officer was found guilty of third-degree murder and assault earlier this year, while two other officers were acquitted.

On Friday, the jury found Aurora Fire Rescue paramedics Jeremy Cooper and Peter Cichuniec guilty of criminally negligent homicide following a week-long trial in state district court. They could face years in prison at sentencing.

The jury also found Mr. Cichuniec guilty of one of two counts of second-degree assault, which carries the possibility of an enhanced prison sentence, and required that he be taken into immediate custody. Mr. Cooper was found not guilty of the assault charges and was not arrested.

Mr. McClain’s mother, Sheneen, pumped her fist in the air after the verdict. “We did it! We did it! We did it!” she said as she walked away from the courthouse.

Mr. Cichuniec’s wife had her head bowed as the officers handcuffed him. Mr. Cooper’s wife sobbed beside her.

Neither the paramedics nor their attorneys spoke outside court. They did not immediately respond to emails and phone messages from The Associated Press seeking comment.

The result could set a precedent for how emergency personnel respond to situations with people in police custody, said University of Miami criminologist Alex Piquero.

“Imagine if you were a paramedic,” Piquero said. “They might hesitate. They might say, ‘I’m not going to do anything’ or ‘I’m going to do less.’ I don’t want to be found guilty.’”

The International Association of Firefighters said in a statement that by filing the charges, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser had criminalized split-second medical decisions and set “a dangerous and chilling precedent for pre-hospital care.”

Weiser, who convened the grand jury that indicted the first responders, said he was pleased with the verdict.

“We remain confident that bringing these cases was the right thing to do for justice to be served for Elijah McClain and for the healing of the Aurora community,” he said outside court.

The city of Aurora said Friday night that the two paramedics were fired following their convictions.

The verdict was announced after two days of deliberations. When jurors told the judge Friday afternoon that they were stuck on one of the counts, the judge told them to keep trying to reach a verdict.

Police detained Mr. McClain while walking home from a convenience store on August 24, 2019, following a suspicious person report. After one officer said McClain grabbed an officer’s gun (a claim disputed by prosecutors), another officer grabbed him by the neck, rendering him temporarily unconscious. Officers also restrained McClain before Cooper injected him with an overdose of ketamine. Mr. Cichuniec was the senior officer and said it was his decision to use ketamine.

Prosecutors said paramedics failed to perform basic medical checks on Mr. McClain, such as taking his pulse, before giving him ketamine. The dose was too much for someone his size: 140 pounds, experts testified. Prosecutors say they also did not monitor McClain immediately after giving him the sedative, but instead left him lying on the floor, making it difficult for him to breathe.

Mr. McClain’s pleading words captured on police body camera video, “I am introverted and different,” struck a chord with protesters and people across the country.

In a statement released before the verdict, McClain’s mother said everyone present during her son’s police detention showed a lack of humanity.

“You cannot blame your job training for your indifference to evil or your participation in evil action,” McClain wrote. “That is completely up to them. May all their souls rot in hell when their time comes.”

Defense attorneys argued that paramedics followed their training in administering ketamine to Mr. McClain after diagnosing him with “excited delirium,” a controversial condition that some say is unscientific and has been used to justify excessive use of force.

The verdicts came after a Washington state jury on Thursday acquitted three police officers of all criminal charges in the 2020 death of Manuel Ellis, a Black man who was electrocuted, beaten and pinned face down on a sidewalk. of Tacoma as he begged to be allowed to breathe. .

In the Colorado case, prosecutors said Cooper lied to investigators to try to cover up his actions, telling detectives that McClain was actively resisting when he decided to inject him with ketamine, even though body camera showed Mr. McClain lying down. on the ground unconscious. He also disputed Mr. Cooper’s claim that Mr. McClain tried to escape from police restraining him and that he took Mr. McClain’s pulse as he leaned over to give him the ketamine injection, which others testified they did not see. .

“You are trying to cover up the recklessness of your conduct,” Deputy Attorney General Jason Slothouber told jurors in his closing statements.

Cichuniec, who testified alongside Cooper this week, said paramedics were trained that they had to work quickly to treat excited delirium with ketamine and said they were told numerous times that it was a safe and effective medication and were not warned about it. . the possibility of killing anyone.

Colorado now tells paramedics not to administer ketamine to people suspected of having the controversial condition, which has symptoms including increased strength and has been associated with racial bias against black men.

When the police detained Mr. McClain, a masseuse, he was listening to music and was wearing a mask that covered most of his face because he had a blood circulation disorder. The police stop quickly turned physical after McClain, apparently caught off guard, asked to be left alone. He had not been accused of committing any crime.

The prominence of the case means that the specter of criminal charges and the accompanying demands on emergency care will be a concern for paramedics in the future, said Arizona State University law professor James G. Hodge, Jr. .

It could prompt them to better document what police tell them about people who need treatment and ask doctors to sign off before paramedics use treatments that save lives but are potentially harmful to patients, he said.

“The national coverage of cases against these paramedics certainly influences real-time practices,” Hodge said.

This story was reported by The Associated Press. Matthew Brown reported from Billings, Montana.

Paramedics convicted: Elijah McClain verdict stirs First Responder reform

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