EPISODE 51: THE TRAGEDY OF ELIJAH MCCLAIN
Speaker 1 (00:00):
Hi, this is Collin McCallin. Thank you for listening. Please do us a favor and leave us a five star review wherever you get your podcasts and subscribe so that you don't miss any future episodes. Thank you.
Speaker 2 (00:22):
Speaker 3 (00:24):
Morning. Good afternoon. Good evening, everyone out there greetings wherever. And whenever you are, my name is Russell habits and I'm here with my partner, Colin McCallin. With another episode of, is this legal hello? Today we are going to be talking about the tragic death, the tragic killing of Alijah McClain. This happened back on August 24th, 2019, but it has been getting some new life, some new media exposure, because very recently there was an internal investigation commissioned by the city of Aurora that shed some additional light on the circumstances surrounding his death. But before we hop into that, Colin, tell us a little bit about Elijah McClain, the person.
Speaker 1 (01:19):
So Elijah McClain is a young 23 year old African-American man. He is a, a resident of Aurora, Colorado. Um, he had never been in trouble before he had no criminal history of any kind. Uh, he lived with his cousin, uh, close to where, uh, he died. Uh, he has been described by friends and family as a spiritual seeker, pacifist oddball, vegetarian athlete, and peacemaker who was exceedingly gentle. Uh, apparently he was an avid violin player. He also played guitar. That's notable there, uh, in the protest that came following his death. Uh, there was a, uh, violin tribute where a bunch of local musicians came and had a violin vigil, uh, for Elijah. So by all accounts, uh, but by the way, I think it's worth noting he's he was small in stature, not a tall man. He was 140 pounds. So his build was rather slight. And, um, that's important just because of the manner in which he died, which, uh, Russ, I think you're going to talk about, but no doubt about it. Use the word tragedy. This is, this is a horrible tragedy that happened to this young man. And of course his family,
Speaker 3 (02:34):
Very avoidable. So here here's what happens. So he is walking at night in Aurora on August 24th of 2019. Someone called in, it was actually a 17 year old who called in a suspicious person report. So called the police said, Hey, there is a suspicious person. This is where that suspicious person is. Aurora police respond, they respond and find Alijah walking. They try to speak to him and Elijah McLean does not stop. They ask him to stop and he doesn't stop walking right now. It's important to note, he didn't reach into his jacket. He didn't threaten them. He just basically said, I don't want to talk to you and kept walking. Right? Okay. So he kept walking. Cops did not like this. They took him to the ground. There's three of them, by the way, three police officers. They take him to the ground. They, as they have him on the ground, two separate times, they employ choke holds on him. That's a carotid
Speaker 1 (03:40):
Artery hold where, which is a hold designed to, uh, impede blood flow to the brain.
Speaker 3 (03:46):
Right. And it's important to note also they have him handcuffed when he's on the ground.
Speaker 1 (03:51):
Yeah. And that's after he's handcuffed and that's when they use this hold, which by the way is not a hold that is, uh, in use any, uh, any more by pretty much most police agencies. You're not allowed to choke someone out if they're, if you're detaining them.
Speaker 3 (04:09):
And that's part of the many, many legal, um, changes to police departments really nationally, um, including Colorado since, since the George Floyd death, um, which we did do a podcast on, but so they take them down. Paramedics come, paramedics are watching him interact with the police on the ground. For some time they,
Speaker 1 (04:32):
15 minutes, they've got him on the ground and there, they claim that they're struggling with him while he's handcuffed, laying on the ground. But that's, that's, what's going on, at least according to that,
Speaker 3 (04:42):
Right? And again, this is disputed. There is some limited body cam footage and audio that we'll talk about. Um, but eventually the paramedics inject him with ketamine. They inject him with ketamine because the Aurora police officers ask them to, because they say he is suffering from excited delirium.
Speaker 1 (05:03):
Ketamine is a sedative. Um, but what we're learning about ketamine, which has now since been banned as a sedative, uh, for use in these situations since Elijah McClain's death, is that it really can, it can have unpredictable effects on from one individual to another, uh, you know, just based on a number of factors.
Speaker 3 (05:27):
Exactly. And so
Speaker 1 (05:29):
They gave him an extremely large dose of ketamine, uh, way more than what would have been recommended for his size and weight.
Speaker 3 (05:37):
And, and we'll, and we'll get into that when we talk about the, um, the, what the medics did and did not do correctly, right? But so let's, let's just get through the baseline here, which is so they, they inject them with ketamine. They transport him to the hospital. He has cardiac arrest and route to the hospital. He arrives at the hospital. He is in coma. And several days later he is declared brain dead and taken off life support.
Speaker 1 (06:03):
One more thing of a note, um, uh, the Aurora police department has their officers using body cameras in this case. And according to the officers, um, uh, as Russ said, there was limited body cam cam footage that was recovered, uh, from, I believe one of the officers, the officers indicate that during the scuffle, their body cams basically got knocked off and deactivated. Uh, of course, uh, Elijah McClain's family and, and attorney are asserting that this is a coverup that, uh, uh, the officers intentionally withheld what they were doing from the view of the cameras, because obviously it was criminal in nature.
Speaker 3 (06:42):
And, and we can tell you as criminal defense attorneys, we see a lot of body cams. We do these days, virtually every Metro agency, employees, body cams, and we get those videos in every case. And I have seen multiple, um, violent struggles with police, with police, with body cams. And in fact, Rashard Brooks who we did a podcast podcast on that, where he ended up dying. That was a very intense struggle. Um, an officer's taser got taken. We have body cam footage from all of that and complete body cam footage. So it's tough. It's tough to, by the fact that three separate officers all had their body cams malfunction or knocked off largely during this altercation. And it was not some coordinated
Speaker 1 (07:34):
At a minimum it's fishy, uh, suspicious might be a better word for it. But, um, I think we don't see phishing works. We don't see that. Usually the only way an officer can deactivate their body cam is to physically turn it off, right. Or to say some way yeah, exactly. Or cover it, which, um, anyway,
Speaker 3 (07:50):
And, and by the way, like the body cam info that we have is not consistent with what the police say. Police say, this was a violent, intense struggle. The body cam footage that we do have shows, and you hear Elijah McLean apologizing. You hear him pleading for,
Speaker 1 (08:09):
He's saying, I can't breathe. He's repeating that over and over. It's very difficult to listen to. Um, so real quickly, uh, putting a bookend on the timeline, um, the, after, uh, in the wake of Elijah's death, um, the Aurora police departments that this same agency that we're talking about, they conducted their own internal affairs investigation into this matter. They submitted that to the, um, district attorney for Adams County, Colorado, which encompasses Aurora. His name is Dave young, uh, Dave young in late 2019, basically exonerated the three officers says, uh, there's no criminal wrongdoing here. This was a tragedy. Um, he based his decision largely to on the autopsy results, which determined that the cause of his death was inconclusive. Um,
Speaker 3 (08:59):
And, and I'll tell you like the, this excited delirium that the officers say he was suffering from, right. That's characterized. We should define that for, for the people out there, that's characterized by aggression, agitation, acute distress, and really a high body temperature and sweating and profuse sweating. Um, it can, it can include unexpected strength and that's often associated with drug abuse, something like PCP, right?
Speaker 1 (09:24):
Yeah. I mean, and I, and I, one of the officers notably, uh, told the other officers, I think he's on something. And that, in fact, I think he might've passed that information onto the paramedics. Um, I'm not aware of any, uh, toxicology, uh, that came back indicating that Elijah McClain was on anything. There's
Speaker 3 (09:43):
Nothing out there like that. And we would've heard that, but I think
Speaker 1 (09:45):
That was the assumption that they were making is that he, he somehow possess some sort of abnormal strength and they attributed that possibly to drug use, which apparently led them to use ASCA paramedics, diesel sedative, and deploy this choke hold.
Speaker 3 (10:02):
And, and so this, this excited delirium column that we're talking about, like, that's something in, you can hear officer Shovan in the George Floyd case while he's kneeling on George's neck, he's talking about excited delirium. He's talking about this. This is something that happens like all cops know about this, like boogeyman excited delirium, very little medical research has been done on this because it largely ends in a suspect dying before reaching the hospital. Okay. So this is something that cops know about, and we don't know how legitimate this excited delirium is when it's actually happening, but it sure looks like from this case, Elijah McClain was not suffering from excited delirium,
Speaker 1 (10:48):
Right. Based on what we know. So, um, a little bit more, uh, kind of bringing us up to the present day, uh, as Russ mentioned there, you know, this, this death was covered by the media initially. I mean, people were following it, but media coverage on it just absolutely exploded, uh, in the wake of the George Floyd killing, uh, last spring in 2020. Um, there was obviously a lot of these deaths across the nation. We're getting a lot more attention as did this one. So, um, last summer in 2020, a lot more people started hearing about Elijah McClain. Again, there were a lot of protests. There was a big movement in Aurora, uh, protesting the actions of the Aurora police department and the paramedics involved in this case. Um, and, uh, in terms of where things are, uh, the Aurora police department eventually, uh, commissioned a three person panel to investigate,
Speaker 3 (11:45):
Not the Aurora police department, Aurora city council, the city of Aurora commission that because the police, the police department investigated initially, right? They, and that's one of the things we're going to talk about. So, but this is what you're talking about. This three person examination or board to investigate it. It was commissioned later by Aurora city council. And it was an objective look at everything surrounding the case. And that, that report 157 page report just came out this week.
Speaker 1 (12:15):
It came out two days ago. So, uh, that's why we're talking about this. Um, there are other pending investigations into this case. Um, uh, notably the Colorado attorney general Phil wiser has impaneled a grand jury to investigate the actions of everyone involved. So a grand jury, of course, is a criminal body. That's investigating whether or not there's probable costs,
Speaker 3 (12:38):
Charge someone with a crime. And for anyone who is a fan of habits and Macallan is this legal, we do have a grand jury, a podcast out there. And for those who have listened to it, you know, if you impanel a grand jury and you want charges to be filed, they will get filed. Like you, you can indict a ham sandwich.
Speaker 1 (12:59):
See, in this case though, I mean, I, I'd be very curious. I mean, when you have a coroner saying that a cause of death is undetermined, right there, there, that is a problem. I mean, that w talk about reasonable doubt, right? And I'm not, I'm not really cutting to whether or not these cops are guilty of anything at the moment. Um, but there are unfortunately due to missteps that have already taken place, uh, I think any chance of, of having any of these officers charged that might face an uphill battle, just because of the amount of investigation that's already been done.
Speaker 3 (13:35):
So one other investigation that's going on also is from at the federal level department of justice is investigating this as a potential civil rights violation, which they are allowed to do as well. So, so, but going back to it, like internally, the investigation said, no criminal liability, the 17th judicial Dave young, the da said, we're not going to charge these cops and they didn't get charged. Okay. So now they still have exposure at the state level, from the ag at the federal level, from the department of justice. But as of now, there's no pending criminal charges. Exactly. But so let's talk about this investigation, this impartial three person board who investigated it, they basically came back with three main findings and we're going to go through each of those separately. And the first column is what
Speaker 1 (14:30):
The first one is probably, well, they're, they're all there. They're all this report was scathing. It was brutal. It basically took apart the actions of the police and the paramedics at every single level, uh, that they interacted with McClain. So, um, you know, the, the report is it's horrible. It's almost, it shows things. It shows us, we already knew things were bad. It shows us just how bad they were. They were probably worse than what we all imagined. Anyway, first thing that's notable. There was no probable cause there was no basis for these police officers to stop or detain Elijah McClain, Russ.
Speaker 3 (15:10):
And that is huge. So here's for everyone out there, there there's two standards we're talking about here right now to do what's called an investigatory stop. So to stop someone and, and question them, you need something called reasonable suspicion. We all have constitutional rights to be free from illegal searches and seizures. That's a fourth amendment of the us constitution. And every state constitution has their own analogy to that. So you have, in order to stop you to question you about something, the cops had to have a reasonable belief that a crime had occurred was occurring or was going to be
Speaker 1 (15:45):
B occurred. I remember they got, they got called out there for a suspicious, suspicious, suspicious person.
Speaker 3 (15:52):
Third time's a charm.
Speaker 1 (15:55):
There was no allegation of criminal wrongdoing. Um, once the officers got there, they were able to see that this man was not a threat. He was walking, he was walking home and, um, they went and contacted him. And, you know, Russ, let's just talk about this for a second, because let's, let's, let's assume for a moment that Elijah McLean knew what you were just talking about. Okay. So he, he knew what his rights were. He knows that he is under no obligation to stop and talk to the police if they want to talk to him. Um, and let's, let's further assume that he knows, okay, I I'm walking around. I haven't committed any crime. I, I haven't done anything that should warrant police scrutiny. So when an officer comes up to a person and says, Hey, I'd like to talk to you for a minute. All right. Whether we've done anything wrong or not, we are conditioned to just stop and submit, right. We were gonna, we have an officer who wants to talk to us, let me see your ID. We're probably going to take out our ID and show it to him. The police are not used to people who know their constitutional rights, who might refuse to engage in that type of encounter.
Speaker 3 (17:04):
And, and frankly, the police do not know
Speaker 1 (17:08):
Constitutional rights like they should. And they certainly remember police officers in general. They, they have a tremendous amount of power and authority. Generally. They don't like it when a person ignores their order. And that's what happened here,
Speaker 3 (17:24):
Right? How, how are you gonna, how is a cop going to react if someone just ignores them? Right.
Speaker 1 (17:29):
Right. Because you think they're just going to let Elijah walk down the road and say, Oh, okay, well have a, have a good night, sir. Right,
Speaker 3 (17:34):
Right, right. We wanted to talk to this guy, but he's walking. So we're going to let him go.
Speaker 1 (17:39):
The fact that there's three cops, right? The probably would probably look at each other, like this guy just ignored us. Right. We're not going to allow that. Right. And of course, because they, they, they, they pursued him. This situation immediately got escalated. They felt like they needed to take him down. They felt like they needed to handle it.
Speaker 3 (17:57):
And, and so like from a, from a legal perspective, once they take him down, once they handcuff him, they have detained him. They have to have not just that reasonable suspicion that I talked about, they have to have probable cause. So an objective observer would say that this person is committing or has committed a crime. Now it's not just a suspicion. Once they handcuff him, that's, that's where they have to be. And they did not have it. So, so what w so what's, what's your advice, Collin, you know, you're, you're, you're advising someone who is walking down the street, they haven't done anything wrong. The police want to talk to them. They don't want to talk to the police.
Speaker 1 (18:38):
You know, it, it's crazy that I have to almost mention this, but the answer to that question, Russ almost depends on whether you're a white person or a person of color. And then that, and that sucks. That's a crappy answer that I have to give, but you know, what if, uh, you know, I, on the one hand, um, people should be relatively deescalating it whenever they have any sort of encounter with the police. And I don't care if it's a traffic ticket or something much more. If gun, you know, cops are breaking down your door, it, you are generally well-advised to behave yourself and to follow orders that are given to you. Um, so, you know, it's easy for us to sit here and an armchair quarterback this, and look, look back a year and a half ago and say, you know, maybe Elijah McLean should have just stopped and dealt with these guys, even though they were conducting in illegal detention of him, maybe he would still be alive if he was more, if he didn't walk away, but at the same time, Russ, it, it bothers me that, that we, we live in a world where you can't as a citizen, assert your knowledge to the police and say, I'm not, I'm not talking to you.
Speaker 1 (19:51):
I'm going to continue on my way. You can't stop me, uh, leave me alone. Right. Because that's what he was within his rights to do.
Speaker 3 (19:59):
And generally, like my answer to that is you, you assert your rights, you assert your rights because generally, you know, your, your, from my perspective, you're saying, okay, worst case scenario is not this worst case scenario is you get arrested. And then I, as your attorney can come to the judge and say, Hey, judge, he got his rights violated. You need to throw this case out because this cop had no PC. He had no probable cause he had no reasonable suspicion. He violated the law and that's how it works. But, you know, unfortunately I think you're right. This is, this is the, the crappy situation where the answer really probably does depend upon the color of your skin.
Speaker 1 (20:41):
Yeah. And you know, and, and I, in no way, want to impart any sort of blame on Elijah McClain for what happened here. I'm not saying he should have stopped walking at all, or that he should have acted differently. This was, this was just a, a horrible, unimaginable situation almost. And, um, so, but yeah, that, unfortunately we have to kind of unpack it.
Speaker 3 (21:01):
So, so let's talk, the second big finding from this panel was that the medics did not exercise due diligence. Okay. And, and here's, here's what we're talking about here. The medics were there and they were watching the interaction with the cops and Alijah. They did not ever evaluate him independently.
Speaker 1 (21:26):
The cop said, we need to sedate him. We need to sedate him. So they sedated him.
Speaker 3 (21:30):
Right. They just took the cops. Then by, they were talking about the paramedics. They took the cops words. They took the cops word that they needed ketamine. And they injected him. Now, I don't know how the dose, the dose, you, you referenced this earlier. The dose of ketamine they gave was for a 190 pound man, right?
Speaker 1 (21:50):
Yeah. They gave him 500 milligrams of ketamine, which is apparently yeah. You just said it would be, that would, that would subdue 190 pound man. Um, Elijah McClain, again, 140 pounds. 50 pounds.
Speaker 3 (22:05):
Yeah. Like, like this is a big overdose for the size of Elijah McClain and they never, they never talked to him. They never, they never took his vitals. They never tried to see is he, does he have a high body temperature is he may be really experiencing this excited delirium.
Speaker 1 (22:23):
And, and, and I just, that, that's something I keep going back to, you got three officers Russ on, you know, that are restraining this guy, who's in handcuffs,
Speaker 3 (22:32):
Who is 140 pounds. Right.
Speaker 1 (22:34):
I, I, it just seems I'm unconvinced that they didn't have the wherewithal to spend more time evaluating the situation. It just feels like everything was rushed. Decisions were made instantaneously and were not questioned. And you know, one thing compounded on, on the next, and here we are,
Speaker 3 (22:59):
Let's say, like, to be fair, these, these exchanges, if it was violent or a struggle, they do unfold quickly, these things. And we are, we are asking these people, these responders to do a lot, right. By making these spur of the moment reactions. And so, you know, there's, this is not black and white. Right. You know, these guys, these guys are at a scene where maybe there was some sort of struggle. Now, maybe it was a struggle that didn't need to be a struggle because there were these choke holds and, you know, Elijah saying, I can't breathe. And if, if, if someone's choking me and I can't breathe, I'm going to sure. Going to struggle, you know, but you know, this, this did happen like to your point very, very quickly, but you still have these medics who are supposed be trained for these situations,
Speaker 1 (23:48):
Supposed to be kind of acting independently from the police. They have different functions. They're not there to support the police. They're not there working for the police. They're not, they don't take orders from the police. These people are tasked with caring for the health care of the people that they encounter.
Speaker 3 (24:04):
Well, I mean, let me, let me just hop on my soap box just for a moment here, because that is exactly one of the police reforms. Like everyone out there who's listening has heard defund the police and everyone attributes a different meaning to that. The meaning I attributed to it, to that term is allocate resources differently. Like Denver right now has a unit. It's only one unit because it's very slow lowly funded. Um, and it's a van that goes around and responds to things like mental health interventions, where the police call them and say, Hey, we have a homeless person who won't leave seven 11, and we don't want to deal with this. Can you come? And they come and then they handle it. They have responded something like, and it's only Monday through Friday during working hours is all they're funded for. And it's one use to the Denver police department are you're talking about, well, it's not even through Denver police, right? It's an independent agency who responds to these at the behest of the police. And then the police leave, not once have they required police intervention and that's, that's the kind of funding that should be going into like, like police shouldn't be responding to mental health issues. They shouldn't be responding to alcoholics. They shouldn't be responding to homelessness. These should be outsourced so that police can worry about violent crimes. Okay. I'm going to step off my soap box now for a minute. Okay.
Speaker 1 (25:30):
They don't trip. Yeah. Um, all right. So the third major takeaway, and again, this is also fairly horrible, uh, is, is a discussion of how biased the Aurora police department internal investigation was in this case. Um, here's a direct quote from this report that just that, that, that came out. That's talking about this, the interviews conducted by major crime investigators failed to ask basic critical questions about the justification for the use of force necessary for any prosecutor to make a determination about whether the use of force was legally justified. Instead, the questions frequently appeared designed to elicit specific exonerating quote, magic language unquote found in police in court rulings. So here is a, here's an example with this, you know, you have internal affairs investigators who are investigating their own officers, uh, after number one, after this, uh, tragedy, Russ, will you engage in a little role role playing with me? I would love to, I'm going to be the internal affairs investigator and you're going to be one of the officers who was investigated for Elijah McClain's death. Okay. I'm in character. Okay. Um, it's true. Isn't it? Officer, would your, you thought that Elijah McLean had a weapon on him, right? Yes.
Speaker 3 (26:47):
Yes. Yes. I did think that it's true.
Speaker 1 (26:50):
Isn't it officer Woodward, that when you were dealing with Mr. McLean, you were in fear for your life, right? I was in fear for my life. Okay. All right. It's true, sir. In your investigation and in your handling of the situation, uh, you know, you, you felt that you had to do all of the actions that you did in this case. And, and, and you would agree that you were acting on your best judgment. At the time
Speaker 3 (27:14):
I felt I had to do everything I did, and I was using my best judgment folks. That's the type of BS.
Speaker 1 (27:20):
Yes. That went into this investigation. It, we're talking about leading questions and Russ, um, are police officers generally trained to use leading questions when they're investigating a crime?
Speaker 3 (27:34):
They are, you know what, they are always, they are always trained to use leading questions, but most of the time, it's the other way
Speaker 1 (27:42):
To get the person to admit
Speaker 3 (27:44):
Things. So this is, this is like, we've talked about this before. Police are like the detectives who investigated this, the major crimes unit, they are skilled interrogators, right? These are detectives who have training, who have done this first to confess, right? They are trained to get incriminating statements out of people's mouths. That is what their goal is. This wasn't even a case where it was neutral. This wasn't a case of what happened. This was the opposite. This was putting words in and using leading questions to
Speaker 1 (28:20):
Yes, to show, Hey, Oh, this officer had no choice. They, they, they were in fear for their life. They had to do what they did.
Speaker 3 (28:25):
It is, it is astounding that these, this is the kind of investigation
Speaker 1 (28:31):
And scripts, by the way of these, these reports, this isn't my opinion or Russ's opinion. Th th th th this is this commission's opinion wa where they actually, you know, actually published in the report, uh, sections of the interrogation showing how much in basically you're, you're, you're telling these guys how to answer the,
Speaker 3 (28:48):
And these are investigators. These are major crimes investigators who are investigating a death. They're investigating a death to see if it was a homicide. And the, the just sheer lack of any real investigation is just, it's just tragic. It really is. And it, it really cuts to the bone of our, our legal system in this, in this case. And just, just an interesting aside, the investigator, who was the first person who was the lead of this investigation internally, he left the office and he's now chief of police down in Abilene, Texas. So Abaleen, you know, you have someone who watches out for your own, for the police and the chief of police in Aurora retired two months after this incident.
Speaker 1 (29:36):
Um, there's another huge story behind this story that I want to talk about. Uh, that again is pretty horrible. Um, so in October of 2019, so this is about two months after Elijah McClain died. Um, three other Aurora police officers. Their names are Erica Marrero, Jaron Jones, and Kyle Dittrich, uh, we're on patrol in, at, in the, in the area of the Memorial where Elijah McClain was killed. And these three officers posed for selfies reenacting the carotid chokehold maneuver that, uh, officer Jason Rosenblatt and Nathan Woodward, you would your dues on Elijah McClain that might've contributed to his death. They're taking photographs, they're smiling, they're laughing. They take these photos and they send them to officers Woodyard and officers Rosenblatt again, Woodard and Rosenblatt were directly involved in Elijah McClain's death or in, in the incident where he died. Um, Rosenblatt replied, haha to the tax.
Speaker 1 (30:44):
Would your, did not reply at all? Um, the texts, again, these are sent in October of 19, they came to light in June of 2020. Uh, they were published, they were made available to the media. Um, you can see them online if you want to. They're pretty bad. Um, all three officers fired, I should say. One of them, Jaron Jones, re re uh, resigned, uh, Erica Marrero and Kyle Dittrich were fired for the taking of the selfies officer Rosenblatt. Uh, he was on paid leave for the death of Elijah McClain. He hadn't been fired yet. He fired, he got fired for responding hahaha to these texts. Um, this blew up in the Denver media and kind of reignited interest all over again in both Elijah McClain's death and highlighting the just myriad of black eyes that the, the Aurora police department has been dealing with for the last two years, we, we did a whole podcast on this, by the way, um, a few months ago, uh, in terms of police reform. And we use the Aurora police department as a model of how not to be essentially with all of the internal strikes
Speaker 3 (31:57):
And it's astounding that, that they sent these things. It is just so callous. And so, I mean, someone died, right. You know, however, he died, someone died and here they are posing, laughing with a choke hold that may have contributed to his death. The, the culture of the Aurora police department is broken.
Speaker 1 (32:19):
And by the way, it's not like these officers went down without a fight. Uh, so remember, uh, officers Marrero Dittrich and Rosenblatt are fired for these, this selfie thing. Um, they all appealed their firings and only about two weeks ago where their firings upheld. But I mean, again, another reform, it is very, very difficult to terminate a police officer. Well, you still have to have them
Speaker 3 (32:43):
The three who were involved in the original incident, they're still on the forest, they're still on the forest now they're not public facing. And, and, you know, honestly they have not been found it. Sure. Like to, to use your phrase. Sure. Smells fishy. There were certainly mistakes made. Um, but they haven't been proven guilty, but still it's,
Speaker 1 (33:02):
It's interesting stinks though.
Speaker 3 (33:04):
It does well, and they're not, it's not like they're on paid leave. They're still, they're still working. They're still, they're still employed. Um, so like, that's, that's, what's going on right now, folks. And, um, so
Speaker 1 (33:17):
We're gonna, we're going to continue to watch this. I mean, like we said, there, there are, uh, pending investigations with the feds and with the Colorado attorney general, we're going to be watching that very closely. There is a ongoing civil suit and, um, we will continue to update, but a very, very sad story. Uh, but we, we absolutely felt like we wanted to talk about it. And, um, so hope you got something out of it. So let's, let's shift gears,
Speaker 3 (33:45):
Cheers to something a bit lighter because it's been pretty heavy. I think it's, it's now time for [inaudible] dumb criminal of we're keeping the international theme going this week with a story from Australia, there were two Welsh tourists who landed themselves in court in 2012 after they got drunk and stole drum roll, please. A penguin named dark from SeaWorld at Australia. Yes. A penguin named Dirk. And by the way, if I ever owned a penguin, I'm going to name him what a great name. That is a fantastic name for a penguin rice, Owen Jones, 21 years old and carry mules. 20 years old from South Wales broke into the park on Queensland's gold coast. I mean, it's beautiful coast. They swam with the dolphins. They let off a fire extinguisher in the shark enclosure. And then they made off with poor dirt. And I wonder if dark was hard to catch, were they drunk?
Speaker 3 (35:01):
They were certainly drunk. And they woke up and they woke up very hung over with the flightless bird in their apartment. They tried their quote in competent to best and quote to care for him. They tried feeding and then they put them in the shower, like any hung-over person would do, but ultimately they realized they couldn't, they did not know how to care for a flightless penguin. So they took him to a local canal can now and well that's water, right? Duck. Like he's like, he's a goose. I feel like most penguins live in canals.
Speaker 1 (35:39):
So I might've, I don't know. I probably would've. I would've taken to like a supermarket freezer perhaps.
Speaker 3 (35:48):
I mean, they could have tried sneaking them back into the zoo. They know what, like a duck, they already know how to get into the zoo. Why away you can't. So, so they released him in new canal, but were spotted by locals who called the police a magistrate, find them 1000 Australian dollars each and told them to drink a little less
Speaker 1 (36:10):
All. I want to know what happened to Dirk.
Speaker 3 (36:13):
It's a happy ending for Darren. He got to see a little bit of the world and he was returned to see where hold on, harmed by the world. Do you mean a crappy
Speaker 1 (36:24):
Apartment? And one day you got to see the show.
Speaker 3 (36:27):
We got a shower. He got a nice shower. All right.
Speaker 1 (36:30):
All right. Well, that's, that's a good, uh, that's a good, Oh, w
Speaker 3 (36:33):
Yeah. So for a rice and Kerry, how many knuckleheads for these guys, man? You know, I honestly, I'm going to give them three. Okay. I feel like they got in and out safely. Yep. They, in fact, not only saved,
Speaker 1 (36:48):
You're giving me credit for pulling off the, uh, the, uh,
Speaker 3 (36:52):
The kidnapping and I'm giving them credit for not injuring the bird, although it was their incompetent best. He was unharmed. He did get to see a bit of the gold coast, which you know, is on, everyone's probably bucket list. Right. So, I mean, I ultimately I'm giving them three knuckleheads.
Speaker 1 (37:10):
I will give them a solid four Russ. Um, I, I, I feel like they should get credit for pulling off the heist, at least for [inaudible]. Um, I'm hold withholding the full five for not, uh, you know, maybe not re returning him to a more appropriate climate for penguin. Like the freezer section of the supermarkets here in Australia. So there's probably not a lot of cold places. Maybe they were limited in terms of what they could do. Maybe it was a really cold canal. Uh, well, anyway, I'll give four knuckleheads. That's a total of seven knuckleheads for these guys, right? Three and a half. Not bad, not too bad guys. All right, Russ, you got anything else today
Speaker 3 (37:51):
For us as always hit us up on Twitter? Is this legal pod on Facebook habits, McKellen,
Speaker 1 (37:56):
Alexa to play is this legal? She'll do it for you. She will like it, but she'll do it.
Speaker 3 (38:02):
Thanks everyone. And until next time bye-bye,
Speaker 2 (38:17):