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Press Statement October 13, 2023

NAACP Issues Statement Following Conviction for Murder of Elijah McClain

Police with shields


October 13, 2023

Contact: Alicia Mercedes,


WASHINGTON – NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson released this statement following the conviction of Aurora Police Officer Randy Roedema for criminally negligent homicide and third-degree assault in the 2019 death of Elijah McClain:

"Being a Black man in America is not a crime. Let me be clear – no person should ever face this level of violence for being Black, especially from those who swore to 'serve and protect.' We commend the jury and thank them for their commitment to ensuring justice for the Aurora community and Elijah's family. Many have grappled with years of sorrow and grief over Elijah McClain for the simple fact that he did not deserve to die that dreadful evening. His life symbolizes the innocence of countless Black men throughout America who are senselessly targeted and subjected to harassment by law enforcement every day. The NAACP calls upon the Aurora Police Department Chief Art Acevedo to take decisive action to ensure that no other citizens of the city have to experience or bear witness to such excessive force and brutality at the hands of officers ever again. This senseless behavior has to end here, and it starts with law enforcement building trust within the communities they are chosen to protect."


About NAACP 

The NAACP advocates, agitates, and litigates for the civil rights due to Black America. Our legacy is built on the foundation of grassroots activism by the biggest civil rights pioneers of the 20th century and is sustained by 21st century activists. From classrooms and courtrooms to city halls and Congress, our network of members across the country works to secure the social and political power that will end race-based discrimination. That work is rooted in racial equity, civic engagement, and supportive policies and institutions for all marginalized people. We are committed to a world without racism where Black people enjoy equitable opportunities in thriving communities.

NOTE: The Legal Defense Fund – also referred to as the NAACP-LDF - was founded in 1940 as a part of the NAACP, but now operates as a completely separate entity.