Firings upheld for 3 Colorado officers who posed in photo near Elijah McClain memorial

AURORA, Colo. — The firing of three former Colorado police officers who were involved in a photo-texting scandal related to the death of Elijah McClain were upheld Tuesday.

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The findings were released by the Aurora Civil Service Commission after two appeals hearings, KUSA reported. One hearing involved former Officer Jason Rosenblatt, and the other involved former Officers Erica Marrero and Kyle Dittrich, the television station reported.

The officers, who served with the Aurora Police Department, were fired last July after they took a photograph showing a chokehold in front of the memorial for McClain, who died after a confrontation with officers from the department last year, officials said.

McClain, 23, was pronounced dead on Aug. 27, 2019 -- a few days after he went into cardiac arrest following a struggle with officers from the Aurora Police Department, KUSA reported.

“I fully supported (Aurora Police) Chief (Vanessa) Wilson’s firing of Officers Dittrich, Marrero and Rosenblatt, and am encouraged that the Civil Service Commission agreed and upheld her decision,” Aurora City Manager Jim Twombly said Tuesday in a statement.

>> Elijah McClain case: Aurora PD fires 3 officers involved in photo scandal

Rosenblatt was fired for his response to a photo text message sent by other former officers in which they appeared to mimic the chokehold used to subdue McClain, KDVR reported. Rosenblatt responded to the text message with “haha.”

Rosenblatt was one of the three officers who responded the night of McClain’s death.

Wilson fired Rosenblatt and two of the three officers who appeared in the photo: Marrero and Dittrich, the television station reported.

Marrero and Dittrich appealed their terminations in early February, KDVR reported.

The third officer in the photograph, Jaron Jones, resigned in July, the television station reported.

“Aurora police officers are expected to serve our community with dignity, respect and a sense of humanity,” Wilson said in a statement. “I am pleased with the Civil Service Commission’s decision to uphold my discipline of Mr. Dittrich, Ms. Marrero and Mr. Rosenblatt. I want to thank City Manager Twombly for his faith in me and my decisions.”

Read the commission’s full findings related to Rosenblatt.

Read the commission’s full findings related to Marrero and Dittrich.

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