the contrarian

United States

Proud member of Dumbasses Inc.
Profile is by Sara Kipin.

Anti-gun, pro-choice, very queer, an ally of BIPOC, and supporter of the BLM movement. Read my pieces. Educate yourself.

Joined 2018. Left 2020.

Message to Readers

I'll be writing more individual pieces on police brutality in the near future. Expect them soon.

The Murder of Elijah McClain | 24 August 2019 (tw: police brutality, distressing content)

July 2, 2020



"I can't breathe. I have my ID right here. My name is Elijah McClain. That's my house. I was just going home. I'm an introvert. I'm just different. That's all. I'm so sorry. I have no gun. I don't do that stuff. I don't do any fighting. Why are you attacking me? I don't even kill flies! I don't eat meat! But I don't judge people, I don't judge people who do eat meat. Forgive me. All I was trying to do was become better. I will do it. I will do anything. Sacrifice my identity, I'll do it. You are beautiful and I love you. Try to forgive me. I'm a mood Gemini. I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry. Ow, that really hurt. You are all very strong. Teamwork makes the dream work. Oh, I'm sorry I wasn't trying to do that. I just can't breathe correctly."

24 August 2019. 

10:30 p.m.

Aurora, Colorado.

Elijah McClain, twenty-three years old, was walking home from the convenience store after picking up an iced tea for his brother. He wore an open-face ski mask because he "had anemia and would sometimes get cold," his sister said to an ABC news affiliate. McClain was unarmed, and he was listening to music as he was walking home. 

The Aurora Police Department received a call about a "suspicious person" who was wearing a mask and waving his hands. Officers Nathan Woodyard, Jason Rosenblatt, and Randy Roedema were dispatched. McClain was accused of resisting contact and reaching for an officer's gun. They started to arrest McClain as he was "stopping [his] music to listen." 

The officers that restrained McClain used a carotid hold, which temporarily restricts blood flow to the brain in order to render someone unconscious. McClain was crying, and seemingly due to the intensity of the carotid hold, vomits multiple times. His final words, according to the transcript of the event, was "I can't fix myself," before he vomited again.

During the encounter, the body cameras of all three police officers "fell off," but you can still hear what's occurring. At one point, someone picks up a body camera and the footage shows McClain lying on his side with both hands restrained behind his back. One officer is jamming his knee into McClain's torso.

Eventually, McClain passes out, and you can hear an officer ask, "Are you OK?"

Rather than asking McClain, however, he's speaking to the officer on top of the unconscious, innocent man. 

The officers called Aurora First Responders, who then arrived approximately fifteen minutes later, injected McClain with a "therapeutic" amount of ketamine - a powerful sedative - while officers continued to hold McClain down. While in the ambulance, McClain suffered from cardiac arrest. He was pronounced brain dead and taken off of life support on August 30 and passed away.

November 22, Adams County prosecutors announced that no charges would be brought forth against the trio of officers. They aided in the death of an unarmed black man. 

After the recent events of George Floyd's death, however, McClain's case has garnered widespread attention, and City Manager Jim Twombly agreed to undertake an independent investigation of Elijah McClain's death. Officers in Aurora are also now banned from using carotid holds. 

McClain was a massage therapist who loved animals. He taught himself how to play the guitar and the violin. An image of McClain playing the violin for stray cats went viral because he believed that the violin playing soothed the cats.

One of McClain's former clients, Marna Arnett, said that he "was the sweetest, purest person I have ever met. He was definitely a light in a whole lot of darkness." McClain also had social anxiety, so Arnett believed that the mask he wore for his anemia helped him cope. “It was protection for him, too. It made him more comfortable being in the outside world.”

Elijah McClain should be alive today. 


See History
  • July 2, 2020 - 2:31pm (Now Viewing)

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  • AK_Nephtali

    Thank you, thank you, even though this hurts, thank you. If I help half as many people (cats included) as Elijah, I'll be happy. I wonder if the cats still miss him.

    4 months ago
  • Deleted User

    Replying: wow. That is really racist and mean. I can't believe someone would do such a thing. Thank you for telling me about it.

    5 months ago
  • Deleted User

    This is so awful. Thank you for educating me on this topic.

    Just a question, I saw on a contest you commented on that they did something racist. What did they do? I was about to enter but I saw your comment so I didn't.

    5 months ago
  • jun lei

    acab. acab. acab.

    5 months ago
  • løne wølf

    police brutality has to stop. they job is to PROTECT THE INNOCENTS, but in turn, they kill them just for the color of their skin. it's pathetic, it really is. thank you so much for writing this moving piece <3

    5 months ago
  • Wicked!

    Thank you for writing such informative pieces and educating all of us. Truly.

    5 months ago
  • sunny.v

    when i first heard about this case, i’d cried ugly tears. elijah played violin for kittens at shelters in his free time. cops are so, so despicable. thank you for bringing his story here. much love as always <3.

    5 months ago
  • chrysanthemums&ink

    compulsory 'thank you for writing this' here, but seriously, thank you so much. thank you for putting work into writing these essays for us, for sharing these articles on this platform, and for reminding us that it isn't over. i'm ashamed to say that i hadn't heard about this case before reading this piece. i'm so ashamed. thank you. thank you. all the best <3

    5 months ago