Elijah McClain Trial Update
Prosecutors plan to rest their case against Aurora Police Officer Nathan Woodyard today. Woodyard is charged with one count of reckless manslaughter for putting a neck hold on Elijah McClain in 2019. Today, Dr. Roger Mitchell – a forensic pathologist – will testify as their final witness.
In the former trial of two Aurora police officers, Dr. Mitchell testified that McClain died from a ketamine overdose administered by paramedics.
Earlier this week, prosecutors argued that the neck hold set off a series of medical problems in McClain, ultimately leading to his death. They said that neither Woodyard, two other officers, or the paramedics called to the scene checked McClain’s vital signs, even though he said he couldn’t breathe.
One of the officers was convicted in McClain’s death, while another was acquitted. The two paramedics face separate trials next month.
Investigation Shows Physicians Used “Excited Delirium” To Defend Deaths
An investigation by 9News found that the term “excited delirium” has been used in countless court cases to justify deaths that occur under police or medical professional custody.
“Excited delirium” comes from a white paper adopted by the American College of Emergency Physicians, or ACEP, in 2019. Medical professionals who use the term claim it indicates severe agitation, profuse sweating, or being unfazed by pain. It also states that police noncompliance is a symptom of “excited delirium”.
Critics of the term say the paper is not a real medical report.
9News spoke with the family of Jerica Lacour, who is filing a lawsuit against a paramedic who administered ketamine to Lacour after an interaction with police in Colorado Springs. Lacour was intoxicated and police officers restrained her, placing a spit mask over her face. She was then injected with ketamine and suffered cardiac arrest in the ambulance, leading to her death.
A physician testified for the defendants, saying Lacour was in a state of excited delirium and this was the cause of her death, not the restraints or ketamine. Many similar cases have been taken to court and police officers and paramedics often walk away unscathed, according to the investigation.
This month, the ACEP decided to withdraw the white paper on excited delirium. They said it didn’t align with their views and advised law enforcement and medical professionals to stop their use of the term when testifying for criminal litigation.
Change in Universal Preschool Program
The Colorado Department of Early Childhood Education is suggesting a rule change that would increase the number of children who qualify for 30 hours of free preschool.
At the beginning of this school year, 15 hours were offered to all children through the state’s Universal Preschool Program.
Children with at least two risk factors qualified for up to 30 hours. Risk factors, as defined by the state, are low-income children, unhoused children, children with disabilities, those who live in foster care or for whom English is their second language.
Now, the state is adding children who live in poverty to the risk factors list, meaning families who earn 100% less than the federal poverty line.
Previous to the proposed change, low-income was considered a risk factor if families earned 270% less than the federal poverty line but only one risk factor didn’t qualify for the full hours of preschool.
If the proposal is adopted, children in families who qualify for two risk factors: low income and poverty will be eligible for the full 30 hours of preschool.
Colorado GOP Charges Presidential Candidates To Appear On Ballot
Republican presidential candidates will have to pay a fee to appear on the 2024 ballot, in Colorado according to the Colorado Sun.
The Colorado GOP outlined rules for the candidates to qualify for the ballot and gave them a couple options of payment.
Candidates must pay the Colorado GOP $40,000 or pay $20,000 but also visit the state at least once. The third choice is to pay $20,000 and host a fundraiser for the GOP.
In addition to the payment, presidential candidates must express their excitement to be on the Colorado ballot on X, formerly known as Twitter.
The fee requirement comes after the Republican Party has seen reduced fundraising from previous years.
Snowfall in Colorado
Colorado will see the first signs of winter this weekend, with snowfall beginning tonight.
A winter storm warning is in place for mountain areas, with up to 24 inches of snow possible. In areas closer to the Denver Metro area, between 3-6 inches of snow are expected.
Meteorologists predict the heaviest snowfall will fall Saturday evening into Sunday morning. They encourage Coloradans to travel with precaution.