One of two officers who were involved in the death of Elijah McClain, an unarmed 23-year-old Black man who died in police custody in Colorado, was convicted by a jury. The officer, Randy Roedema, was convicted of negligent homicide and assault in the third degree. The second officer, Jason Rosenblatt, was acquitted by the jury, the Wall Street Journal reports. The verdict is the first related to the 2019 death. Local prosecutors had initially declined to bring charges, but as the case received renewed attention after George Floyd’s murder in 2020, Colorado’s governor appointed a special prosecutor to reinvestigate McClain’s death.
The trial was the first of three related to McClain’s death. A Colorado grand jury indicted several police officers and paramedics in 2021, bringing manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and assault charges. The trial of Nathan Woodyard, the first officer who arrived at the scene, is expected to begin Friday. Two paramedics are scheduled to face trial in November. State Attorney General Phil Weiser, whose office was appointed to reinvestigate McClain’s death, said his team worked hard to prosecute the case. “We have two more trials to prosecute, and I know the teams handling those cases will bring their best efforts as well,” he said. Rosenblatt was one of several officers fired in 2020 after a group of officers took selfies at McClain’s memorial site that appeared to mock the hold officers used. The officers who took the photos shared them with Rosenblatt, who replied “haha,” according to an internal investigation report.