The Panel found that no one involved in the incident identified a crime that Mr. McClain may have been suspected of and none of the factors officers identified amounted to reasonable suspicion to stop Mr. McClain. Less than one minute after officers approached Elijah McClain, force had been used against him to conduct a Terry stop, to attempt a frisk, and to effectuate an arrest and no efforts were made to de-escalate the situation. After Mr. McClain’s death, the investigation was flawed and failed to meaningfully develop a fulsome record.
The Panel’s policy recommendations primarily fall into three categories, which urge the City to:
Review policy, training, and supervision regarding use of force and arrest practices;
Improve accountability systems, including more effective review by Major Crime and mandatory review by Internal Affairs; and
Clarify and strengthen the transition of an individual from suspect to patient when EMS is called.
Read the full investigative report here.
Watch the Panel’s presentation of their findings here.
“Dr. King said, ‘the moral arc of the universe bends toward justice.’ But only when people pull it toward justice. The Washington Lawyers’ Committee is doing the pulling, and our city and the nation are better for it.”
Eric Holder, former Attorney General of the United States