By Alan McLeod
DENVER — Elijah McClain would have turned 25 last week. However, in 2019, the introverted Black massage therapist was killed on the street by police in his native Aurora (a part of the Denver metropolitan area). None of the officers involved have faced charges for the incident. Yet the leaders of mass protests against the killing are now facing up to 48 years in prison on a host of charges they see as retaliation for standing up to police power.
Three activists — Lillian House, Joel Northam, and Eliza Lucero face a preliminary hearing on March 9. A fourth, Terrence Roberts, is also facing similar, though more minor charges.
The most serious of the charges against them is that of kidnapping, an indictment that stems from a protest they led in July. A ring of demonstrators surrounded a police station in Aurora, which meant that officers inside would have to walk through (peaceful) protestor lines to get out the building. For this action, prosecutors argue that they effectively kidnapped 18 police officers, and are hoping they will face many decades in prison.