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‘If Elijah McClain Isn’t Safe, Who Is’: MSNBC Host Tears Up Reading Slain 23-Year-Old’s Final Words

MSNBC anchor Geoff Bennett teared up on live TV during Wednesday’s airing of MSNBC Reports while reading the final words of Elijah McClain, The Hill reports

McClain died after being brutally arrested by police and administered a dose of ketamine, a powerful sedative.

“I can’t breathe. I have my ID right here. My name is Elijah McClain. That’s my house. I was just going home. I’m an introvert. I’m just different. That’s all. I’m so sorry. I have no gun. I don’t do that stuff. I don’t do any fighting. Why are you attacking me?” Bennett recited of McClain’s last words to first responders in Aug. 2019.

The news anchor later posed a question to the show’s guests, former federal prosecutor Paul Butler and criminal defense attorney David Henderson.

“If Elijah McClain isn’t safe, who is?” Bennett asked the two men.

“This kid was 5’6″ and weighed 140 pounds and they gave him enough sedative that you would give to someone who weighed 220 pounds,” Bennett said. “His final words are haunting and tragic.”

As Blavity previously reported, the 23-year-old was walking home from a convenience store when Aurora, Colorado, police stopped him. Police said they were responding to a call for a suspicious person when they encountered McClain.

Bennett was speaking with Butler and Henderson after Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser handed down 32 counts against the five people involved in the Aurora resident’s death. The MSNBC host said the officers had no reason to stop McClain and shouldn’t have administered a powerful sedative. 

“We’re here today because Elijah McClain is not here and he should be,” Weiser said, according to CNN. “When he died he was only 23 years old. He had his whole life ahead of him and his family and his friends must now go on and must live without him.”

The indictment against the five first responders involved in the death of McClain comes after a summer of Black Lives Matter protests across the country. Protesters took to the streets in dozens of states to demand police reform and accountability of officers after the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota. 

Floyd’s last words, similar to McClain, were also “I can’t breathe.” His final words became a rallying cry for demonstrators. One of the officers, Derek Chauvin, who killed Floyd, was found guilty of third-degree murder, second-degree unintentional murder and second-degree manslaughter. 

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