Warriors' Klay Thompson Calls for Justice for Elijah McClain in IG Post

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJune 25, 2020

Golden State Warriors and former Washington State guard Klay Thompson looks on during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game between Washington State and Oregon State in Pullman, Wash., Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020. Washington State retired Thompson's jersey number during halftime of the game. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)
Young Kwak/Associated Press

Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson made an Instagram post Wednesday seeking justice for Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old Black man who died after a struggle with police in August 2019.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis announced Wednesday his administration is going to reexamine the McClain case after a petition urging a new investigation into his death received over 2 million signatures, per Leslie Perrot of CNN.

McClain was stopped by police after a 911 caller described him as a "suspicious person" as he walked home from a convenience store in Aurora, Colorado. He resisted contact with the responding officers, stating "I'm an introvert, please respect the boundaries that I am speaking," per CNN.

A struggle ensued, with one of the officers placing McClain in a chokehold. He briefly lost consciousness but later regained it and received ketamine as a sedative from paramedics. He suffered a heart attack in the ambulance and was declared brain dead in the hospital three days later, according to the report.

Adams County district attorney Dave Young declined to press charges in the case, and the officers involved, who were initially placed on administrative leave, were later reinstated to the police force.

Thompson made an impassioned plea for justice on Instagram:

"Elijah McClain,

"A gentle soul who played violin to lonely kittens in his spare time was murdered by Aurora CO police officers (who still roam free) for looking 'suspicious' on his way home from the convenient store. Now remember, this is the same police force that apprehended James Holmes after slaying 12 people and injuring 70 others at an Aurora movie theatre midnight screening. They subdued him without a scratch on his body.

"There is no debate that men, woman and children of color are 'policed' to a much harsher and catastrophic standard than white America.

"Waking up to the news of another murder of an unarmed brother, sister, mother, father or friend is so mentally draining and demoralizing and sometimes feels like there's no light at the end of the tunnel. But there is...it will take so much work and effort from conscious citizens across the globe. So many institutions need restructuring (voting rights, police procedures, minority representation in politics).

"Let's help bring justice to Elijah and his family. As well as so many others who will never be forgotten and rest in power."

It's the latest case involving a Black person being killed by police to receive increased scrutiny after the killing of George Floyd while in Minneapolis Police custody in late May. Protesters have also sought justice for Breonna Taylor and others.

There have also been worldwide protests against racial injustice and police brutality as part of the Black Lives Matter movement.