Say What Now? Paramedic Only Sentenced to 4 Years of Probation for Role in Elijah McClain's Death |

Say What Now? Paramedic Only Sentenced to 4 Years of Probation for Role in Elijah McClain’s Death

Aurora paramedic Jeremy Cooper was sentenced after being found guilty of criminally negligent homicide in Elijah McClain’s death.

Cooper had faced up to three years in prison following his conviction on Dec. 22 for criminally negligent homicide.

Cooper’s sentence, imposed by District Judge Mark Warner, also included 14 months’ work release and 100 hours of community service.

Before issuing the term, Warner said body camera videos of McClain’s deadly interaction with police were “painful to watch.”

The judge said that while Cooper injected McClain, 23, with more Ketamine than protocol for a person his size, the paramedic has shown he’s “contrite,” dedicated his life to helping others and was not likely to commit crimes in the future.

Before he was sentenced, Cooper said he wanted to address McClain, and at times, cried, while speaking about how he wished McClain were alive.

“I want you to know that I would give anything to have a different outcome, Elijah. I never meant for anyone to hurt you,” Cooper said. “I wanted to take over your care, and I was scared. I believe you needed immediate medical attention. I wanted to calm the situation down. I wanted my presence to be enough and my skills and training to be enough. I am so sorry, collectively, that we all failed you.”

McClain’s mother, Sheneen McClain, addressed the court before sentencing. She said Cooper will be forever judged by what he failed to do for her son.

“Jeremy Cooper did not check for my son’s pulse. Jeremy Cooper did not conduct a thorough examination to see if my son was breathing normally. Jeremy Cooper did not interact with my son or ask my son how he was doing,” she said.

“Jeremy Cooper heard my son talking and was there for my son’s last words. But Jeremy Cooper just stood there … Nothing Jeremy Cooper can say will bring back my son or remove my son’s blood from his hands.”

Friday’s sentencing was the final trial court action against first responders who were accused of playing a role in McClain’s death.

McClain was walking home on Aug. 24, 2019, when police in the Denver suburb stopped him.

McClain was put in a chokehold and paramedics administered 500 milligrams of ketamine to sedate him before he went into cardiac arrest on his way to the hospital.

He was taken off life support on Aug. 30.

Local prosecutors initially declined to charge first responders. Gov. Jared Polis assigned a special prosecutor in June 2020, in the midst of national civil rights protests following the police slaying of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Then on Sept. 1, 2021, two years after McClain died, state prosecutors announced that a grand jury had returned indictments against three police officers and two paramedics.

via: NBC News

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