Who Was Elijah McClain? What to Know About His Death After a Police Encounter

One officer approached Mr. McClain, who was listening to music, and told him to stop walking. Mr. McClain stopped after several commands but said he had a right to continue toward home.

According to the camera footage, the officer responded, saying he had a right to stop Mr. McClain for looking suspicious, and grabbed him by the arms. As another officer approached, Mr. McClain can be heard saying, “I am an introvert, please respect the boundaries that I am speaking. Leave me alone.”

Though Mr. McClain had not committed a crime, officers immediately restrained him, telling him to stop resisting when he put his arms up to his chest and to “stop tensing up.” The footage shows Mr. McClain pleading with the officers to let go of him, and trying to get out of their grip.

The officers eventually brought him to the ground, claiming he had reached for one of their guns while they were pinning him against a wall to handcuff him. The body camera footage does not show this, officers said, because their cameras had fallen off into the grass.

At one point, an officer tells Mr. McClain that he would use his dog on him if he did not “stop messing around.”

More officers arrived after Mr. McClain was restrained. While talking with one another, officers said that Mr. McClain was “acting crazy,” that he was “definitely on something,” and that he had attacked officers when they tried to restrain him. They also said he had “incredible, crazy strength,” and that at one point three officers were on top of him.

The autopsy report notes that Mr. McClain was 5 feet 6 inches and weighed 140 pounds.

After Mr. McClain’s death, Officers Woodyard, Rosenblatt and Roedema were placed on administrative leave, but they have all since been reinstated.