Elijah McClain was murdered by Aurora Police officers and Aurora Fire Department paramedics. Elijah did nothing wrong. Elijah was brutalized by police and drugged by paramedics. The police and the paramedics did not see Elijah as a fellow human being, they did not see Elijah at all. Police mocked Elijah’s murder, and tried to avoid accountability for his death. Yet and still, overdue does not mean overlooked. Although late, the murders finally received indictments. We shall see if justice is fully served.
When you don’t fit societal molds, or even if you do, when you’re Black, everyday life lends itself to be far more deadly. There is no space for us to be, much less to just walk home. Going to the store to grab an ice tea shouldn’t cost anyone their life – it shouldn’t prompt a call to police. Black people are not allowed to simply be, to breathe, to live. And until we are, we cannot be silent about the issue.
No matter what we do, no matter how polite we are, no matter how well we speak, no matter how we dress, no matter how innocent our actions, we still face deadly outcomes in police interactions. We are seen as suspect, our very bodies seen as a threat. Elijah was a young, mindful, sweet person. A whole world of possibilities lay ahead for him, who knows what Elijah would have grown into or what may have become of his dreams.
“In the whole world you know
There’s a million boys and girls
Who are young, gifted and black
And that’s a fact,” Nina Simone, Young Gifted and Black