Colorado police were seen walking in a peaceful protest to remember Elijah McClain wearing full riot gear and spraying protesters with pepper spray.
Aurora cops were seen parading in the protest, which included a violin performance to honor McClain’s memory.
It happened on Saturday in City Center Park, where a musical vigil was held.
Saturday’s demonstrations in Aurora began with a march and a demonstration, followed by a youth-led protest and a violin vigil, pictured
A protest over Elijah McClain’s death quickly went from peaceful to messy after Aurora police distributed pepper spray on protesters
Police with riot gear and shields called the protest an “illegal assembly” and began dispelling the crowd
Protester and violinist, Jukka Pawley, continues to play music to honor Elijah McClain, while the Aurora police fires tear gas into the crowd behind him during a vigil in Aurora, Colorado
The scene was both surreal and chaotic as the musicians continued to play their violins as the riot police and protesters closed around them. The protester and violinist, Stephanie Gangemi, continues to play
Aurora’s policemen entered as a military unit to forcibly remove and spray pepper peaceful demonstrators who were watching a violin performance in honor of Elijah McClain
PD Aurora warned on Twitter that they were planning to use pepper spray on protesters
The crowd posted photos and videos on social media that captured the bizarre places
The police presence was sudden. At some point, only the noise of the violinists was heard before the police suddenly began to storm the rally to the shouts of the crowd of “No!”.
In a recording, you can hear a woman yelling at the police to stop as riot police officers prepare to forcibly remove protesters outside the park and use pepper spray.
The protesters continued to maintain their position as long as possible with some even forming a human chain around the violinists to protect them from the police.
Police surrounded protesters and musicians as they played, but used pepper spray and batons to repel them
The police then distributed pepper spray after protesters threw stones and bottles
A young boy plays the violin to honor Elijah McClain on Saturday afternoon at the protest
Jeff Hughes is pictured with his violin at the Aurora, Colorado protest on Saturday
Protesters, Jukka Pawley (center) and Phil Arambula (right) play with other violinists
Such as #Aurora municipal security forces lost patience for how long it took to illegally evict us from #ElijahMcClain on the eve of the violin, they started deploying chemical agents directly on the faces of the demonstrators and the fleeing demonstrators while attempting to make arrests pic.twitter.com/ElDeu8Q4LD
– dula lipa (@dulapalooza) June 28, 2020
Marchers walked behind a banner with the inscription “Justice for Elijah McClain, murdered by Aurora police”.
Social media posts of Saturday afternoon protests showed crowds of people demonstrating peacefully while police forces wore tactical gear.
Some of the crowd sang, “Why are you in riot gear? We don’t see riots here. ‘
The gatherings were eventually forced into the parking lot where the violinist and even the singers burst into singing.
It is unclear why the police did not simply back off.
Aurora PD claims that the crowd was becoming unruly, some were arming themselves and launching bullets.
Police say three people were arrested for violating lawful orders after notices were given.
A protester are images holding a violin bow in the mouth during the protest
The protester and violinist Jeff Hughes plays music to honor Elijah McClain
A protester holds a violin which will be played in honor of Elijah McClain
Valerie Reives plays the viola while protesters turn on the lights of their cell phones to honor Elijah McClain, who, when he was alive, would play the violin in animal shelters because he thought the puppies were alone
McClain’s death last August sparked a handful of small protests in the past 10 months, but his case sparked renewed attention amid a global protest sparked when George Floyd died below the knee of a Minneapolis police officer on May 25.
A protester, 25-year-old Franklin Williams, came to show support and make sure the fervor continues.
“This shouldn’t be a moment,” said Williams. “This should be a movement.”
Aurora police responded to the call of a suspect who was wearing a ski mask and waving his arms while walking down a street on August 24 last year.
They say McClain refused to stop walking and reacted when the agents confronted him and tried to take him into custody.
Hermela Goshu addresses the crowd for a protest against Elijah McClain’s death
Caitlin Zotigh raises a sign that she painted herself with the image of Elijah McClain doing something she often did live, playing a violin, during a march in protest against his death
A woman sprays fist-shaped paint on another woman’s shoulder using a cardboard stencil during a protest against Elijah McClain’s death and police injustice
“I have a right to stop you because you are suspicious,” an officer hears in a body camera recording saying to McClain.
The meeting took place while McClain, a certified and self-taught violinist masseur, was running a commission.
To subdue McClain, the officers used a choke that cuts blood to the brain – a tactic recently banned in several places following Floyd’s death. Paramedics arrived shortly thereafter and administered a sedative to calm McClain.
McClain suffered a cardiac arrest on the way to the hospital and was later declared dead in the brain. He was removed from life support less than a week later.
In August 2019, 23-year-old Elijah McClain passed away following a confrontation with police in the suburbs of Denver after suffering a cardiac arrest on her way to hospital
The Colorado governor has reopened the investigation into the death of Elijah McClain (pictured), who died after being put on a stretcher by policemen and sedated with ketamine
Pictured (left to right): Aurora Police Department officers Nathan Woodyard, Jason Rosenblatt and Randy Roedema are at the center of revitalized calls to investigate Elijah McClain’s death
Three officers were put on leave but returned to strength after District Attorney Dave Young stated that there was insufficient evidence to support the charge.
Thursday, Governor Jared Polis ordered prosecutors to reopen the investigation.
Aurora police released a statement Saturday before the event began stating that they supported a peaceful protest and a warning of “strangers” with destructive targets. The protest organizers said the police response was worrying.
“Aurora’s police department responded by spreading rumors of a” violent threat “in order to intimidate organizers and participants and justify mobilizing a militarized police response to crack down on protesters,” said the Party for Socialism and release in a press release published on Facebook.
On Saturday, people protested over Elia McClain’s death and police injustice in Aurora