Aurora’s interim police chief, Vanessa Wilson said three officers from the Aurora Police Department have been fired over a photo reenacting the chokehold that preceded the death of 23-year-old Elijah McClain last year.
The photos were taken on October 20 near the site of McClain’s memorial. One photo shows three officers, Jaron Jones, Erica Marrero, and Kyle Dittrich smiling near the site. The other photo shows officer Jones reenacting the carotid hold on Dittrich as they smiled. Dittrich took the photo, then texted it to Jason Rosenblatt and Nathan Woodyard, two of the three officers involved in McClain’s death.
During the investigation, the officers explained to Wilson that they sent the photo hoping to “cheer up a friend,” according to the Denver Post.
Officers Erica Marrero and Kyle Dittrich were fired for posing for the photos with officer Jaron Jones, who resigned on Tuesday after learning he would be terminated. Officer Rosenblatt, was also fired, Chief Williams said she terminated him because after he received the photo, he “replied with the inappropriate comment ‘ha ha.’ ”
“We are ashamed, we are sickened, and we are angry about what I have to share,” interim Chief Vanessa Wilson said. “While the allegations of this internal affairs case are not criminal, they are a crime against humanity and decency. To even think about doing such a thing is beyond comprehension and it is reprehensible.”
The official reason the department gave for firing the officers was that their conduct was unbecoming.