Elijah McClain’s autopsy has revealed his death was caused by ketamine injection after being forcibly restrained. The dosage was too much for his body size and it resulted in an overdose.
On Aug. 24, 2019, officers responded to a call about a suspicious person and put McClain, a massage therapist, in a chokehold and paramedics later injected him with ketamine, a powerful sedative. He died about a week later.
An amended autopsy report released Friday revealed Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old Black man who died after a confrontation with police officers, died because he was injected with ketamine by paramedics after being forcibly restrained.
“I believe this tragic fatality is most likely the result of ketamine toxicity,” the report said, adding McClain received a higher dosage of the sedative than he should have. “Simply put, this dosage of ketamine was too much for this individual and it resulted in an overdose.”
The original autopsy report, signed Nov. 7, 2019, said McClain’s cause of death could not be determined, but new information that emerged during a grand jury investigation prompted the state attorney general’s office to order a second autopsy.
The amended report comes one month after Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser announced that two police officers, one former officer and two paramedics in the Denver suburb of Aurora had been indicted and would be charged with one count each of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide, among other allegations in the 32-count indictment.
“The opinions rendered were based on information available at that time. Since then, this office has received additional material for review including extensive body camera footage, witness statements, and additional records,” the report said. “It is worth noting that these materials had been requested prior to release of the initial autopsy but the material was either not provided to us or not provided to us in their entirety.”