The interim police chief in Aurora, Colorado, fired three officers over a photo in which cops from the department reenacted the chokehold used on Elijah McClain last year.
Interim Chief Vanessa Wilson said at a press conference on Friday that the two other officers posing in the picture — Erica Marrero and Kyle Dittrich — had been fired, according to The Denver Post. One of the officers in the picture, Jaron Jones, resigned on Tuesday.
Wilson also fired Jason Rosenblatt, one of three officers involved in McMclain’s death last summer, who, according to the interim police chief, had received the photo and replied, “ha ha.”
Rosenblatt, Marrero, and Dittrich were previously put on leave over the photo as the Aurora Police Department conducted an investigation.
The photo was taken in October 2019, near a memorial for McClain.
McClain, 23, died on August 30, 2019, days after police confronted him as he walked home from a convenience store. The officers were responding to a 911 call from someone describing a “suspicious black male wearing a ski mask, ‘acting weird’ by ‘waving his arms around,'” according to the police department’s incident report at the time.
During the arrest, police placed McClain in a chokehold, and a medic sedated him with the drug ketamine.
McClain’s family said he was anemic and that he often wore an open-face ski mask to keep warm. They said he was listening to music when police stopped him.
“I speak for all men and women of APD we are ashamed and sickened over what we have to share with you …, ” Wilson said at a press conference announcing the firings, according to 9 News.
Wilson said the police officers who took the photos claimed they did so to “cheer up a friend.”