Police officers Nathan Woodyard, Jason Rosenblatt, and Randy Roedema of the Aurora Police Department in Colorado have been put to work in a “non-enforcement capacity” since interest has renewed in the case surrounding the death of 23-year-old Elijah McClain last year.
A police department spokesperson says the decision was “done in an effort to protect those officers,” reports NBC News.
The three cops were previously put on administrative leave after McClain’s death in August 2019, but returned to their normal duties earlier this year after being cleared of any wrongdoing by District Attorney Dave Young.
“They are now working in a non-enforcement capacity,” Det. Faith Goodrich said.
“This can be in a variety of different assignments but is usually administrative in nature.” Officers Nathan Woodyard and Jason Rosenblatt were moved to desk duty on June 13, and officer Randy Roedema was re-assigned on June 20, officials said.
McClain died in hospital a week after he was approached by the three officers while he was walking and listening to music. The officers put him in a chokehold after he “resisted contact,” according to a police statement at the time.
The 23-year-old was put on life support after he lost consciousness and experienced cardiac arrest. He was also injected with ketamine by paramedics who arrived on the scene.
On Friday a special prosecutor was appointed to investigate Mcclain’s death, in response to widespread protests against police killings and for police accountability.
“They murdered him. They are bullies with badges,” Shaneen McClain said of the officers involved in her son’s death.