Drop All Charges Against Samuel Young! Justice For Elijah McClain!

George Brauchler District Attorney 18th Judicial District

Drop All Charges Against Samuel Young! Justice For Elijah McClain!

On August 30th, 2019, Elijah McClain, an unarmed black man of just 23 years was tortured and murdered by three Aurora police officers. The officers were aided in these unjustifiable acts of state violence by additional individuals tasked with protecting, not terrorizing, the people of Aurora. Inclusive of these were three first responders who, at the request of the officers, administered a lethal dose of Ketamine to Elijah, which eventually killed him. The officers responsible with Elijah's murder have not been fired, let alone charged with murder, for this obvious and incredibly vicious expression of unjustified violence. Other officers within Aurora have posed in a video mocking the police lynching of Elijah McClain and the police union in Aurora has shielded Elijah's murderers.

On July 25th, 2020, a protest was held to bring public awareness to this injustice and to call for the charging of the officers who murdered Elijah. The protesters occupied the I-225 highway in Aurora, a Jeep drove with great speed toward the crowd of protesters with a seemingly unimpeded view of the occupied roadway. In an attempt to stop the vehicle from bringing about great physical harm to the protestors, Samuel Young, himself an attendee of the protest, opened fire on the Jeep. Nearly immediately after the incident, Sam was charged with attempted first degree murder. Aerial footage evidences the Jeep driver’s intent to cause massive bodily harm to the protesters, as the driver had an adequate distance between himself and the protesters, but nonetheless continued to maintain a high speed trajectory towards the crowd, the driver has not been charged with a single crime.

The juxtaposition of these ethical and judicial transgressions shows serious systemic and institutionalized failures within the Aurora police and justice departments, which must be immediately addressed. These cases show a two-tiered system of justice within the City of Aurora: on the one hand empowering and protecting perpetrators of malicious, state-aligned violence against innocent and unarmed people, especially working class and people of color, and on the other, heavy-handed retribution against well-intentioned people trying to protect others from violence. Any law enforcement or judicial system that provides such an incredible differential in its outcomes is not right, is not just, does not conform to any meaningful use of the word "justice" and must, unequivocally, be significantly and immediately systemically ameliorated or abolished entirely.

We, the signers of this petition, in recognition of the systemically discriminatory and unequally applied justice in the City of Aurora, call on the City, Police Department, and Judiciary of Aurora to proceed, in a manner of comportment that may begin to amend past and present injustices and misconducts, to take legal actions to forward the following objectives, which we assert are aligned with the universal values of justice, accountability, and fairness:

  1. Bringing to full justice the three officers, Nathan Woodyard, Jason Rosenblatt and Randy Roedema, who unjustifiably, criminally, and unethically murdered Elijah McClain, a young, unarmed black man, by charging these responsible officers with murder in the first degree and, where evidence provides, other criminal offenses for which they will be tried and appropriately sentenced through a process in exact alignment with the legal processes granted to all other criminal defendants in Aurora.

  2. Dropping all charges against Samuel Young, who has been charged with attempted murder, on the basis that his actions were reflective of a desire to protect the public from the greater expression of violence exhibited by the driver of a vehicle that was perceivably attempting to bring grave bodily harm to protesters on I-225 between E Alameda Ave and E 6th Ave.

  3. Drop pursuit of any charges against Candice Bailey, on the basis that freedom of speech and assembly are the bedrock of all free and fair societies, on the basis that Candice Bailey, organizer of the July 25th protests, did not use language to incite violence, and on the basis that attempting to convict her of charges related to terrorism for her speech would set a precedent attempting to silence critical speech against the police and generally.

  4. The acknowledgment in public statements by the City Council of Aurora, the Chief of Police of Aurora, and its justice department of past legal wrongdoings, miscarriages of justice, and actions of corruption perpetrated by the departments and entities under their direction, the intent to change said malpractices, and full explanations of the exact steps each of their agencies will be taking to ensure that these injustices, acts of corruption, and misdeeds will not occur in the future or how these will be dealt with in the event of their future occurrence.

  5. The creation of an independent monitor committee that is well-funded, independent, transparent, directly publicly accountable, and directly publicly elected, and shall be chartered with investigating mistrials of justice and potential cases of criminal or other forms of misconduct within the Aurora police and judicial systems, and shall be given the power to hire and contract out to legal experts, detectives, social workers, and other relevant experts independent of city intervention, and which shall be granted appropriate legal access to fulfill its charter of providing transparency to the police and justice departments of the City of Aurora.

  6. Investigating the role of paramedics in the murder of Elijah McClain and making meaningful and substantive reforms to ensure that paramedics are not asked by police to or permitted to violate their charge of saving lives, not taking them. These measures should not be punitive, but restorative in nature in recognition of the unequal power dynamic that exists between police and non-police first responders.

  7. Bringing to justice Kyle Faulkison, the driver of the Jeep who seemingly intentionally drove his vehicle through a crowd of protestors on I-225 between E Alameda Ave and E 6th Ave, specifically by charging and trying him in accordance with normal legal practices.

This petition was written and is endorsed by Comrade Jo, who was shot inadvertently on July 25th at a protest to bring justice to the police that murdered Elijah McClain.

To: George Brauchler District Attorney 18th Judicial District
From: [Your Name]

Thank you for taking action to drop all charges against Samuel Young and to bring justice for Elijah McClain!