Dozens of violinists turned out to New York City’s Washington Square Park to play their instruments in honor of Elijah McClain who was killed following a police interaction in Aurora, Colorado.
Writer Miriam Elder captured the beautiful moment, posting it to Twitter.
She noted that everyone she saw was wearing a face mask.
New York turned out for a violin vigil for Elijah McClain at Washington Square Park tonight (and every person I saw was wearing a mask) pic.twitter.com/Q8m7SViNjt
— Miriam Elder (@MiriamElder) June 30, 2020
“In Loving Memory of Elijah McClain,” was illuminated on the monument behind them.
23-year-old McClain was walking home from work wearing a ski-mask on August 24, 2019, when someone in the community called police to report a “suspicious” person. Police approached and attempted to detain him. The young man pleaded to be let go, proclaiming his innocence.
Instead, McClain was placed in a neck hold. According to reports, Aurora Police released a statement that said that McClain “resisted contact, a struggle ensued and he was taken into custody.”
“Due to the level of physical force applied while restraining the subject and his agitated mental state,” officers then requested emergency services. The emergency medical personnel administered ketamine, intended to “reduce agitation.” McClain had an adverse reaction to the medication and suffered a cardiac arrest in the ambulance.
The three officers involved in the incident, Nathan Woodyard, Jason Rosenblatt, and Randy Roedema have all been reassigned by Aurora PD, “for their own safety.”
The McClain case has gained new public attention in recent weeks since the police killing of George Floyd which has kicked off a new civil rights movement against police violence.
Colorado governor, Jay Polis, recently announced his administration will reexamine the case.
“Elijah McClain should be alive today, and we owe it to his family to take this step and elevate the pursuit of justice in his name to a statewide concern,” Polis said in a release.
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