Elijah McClain was a 23-year-old Black man who was killed by officers from the Aurora Police Department last August after they stopped him on the street on his way home from the convenience store. McClain went into cardiac arrest after being pinned down to the ground and injected with ketamine. In recent weeks, the young man’s story has been circulated widely as the Black Lives Matter movement has amplified stories of Black men and women killed by state violence.

It seems that his story is also being amplified in the police department itself, except instead of feeling shame and remorse, the Aurora Police Department finds the situation to be a big joke. Three Colorado officers with the department have been fired and one has resigned after a photo of them mocking McClain’s death began circulating, according to the HuffPost.

In the photo, Officers Erica Marrero, Jaron Jones and Kyle Dittrich seem to be staging a recreation of the chokehold used on McClain. It was taken at a memorial site for McClain last year. Yes, they went out of their way to pose at a place of mourning after a man’s death by their own department.

The interim Police Chief Vanessa Wilson told reporters on Friday, that the three “don’t deserve to wear a badge anymore.”

The fourth officer, Jason Rosenblatt, was fired for replying “haha” in a text after receiving the photo. The cops claimed they were trying to “cheer up a friend” when they made the image.

The texter, Rosenblatt, who was one of the officers involved in McClain’s death. All of those officers were officially cleared in February, but Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said he would have the case reexamined in June after protests, petitions and widespread public outrage forced him to acknowledge the department’s violent history.

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*First Published: July 4, 2020, 7:26 am