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What to know about Elijah McClain’s death and the criminal trial of two officers

DENVER (AP) — The trial of two Denver-area police officers charged in Elijah McClain’s death resumes Tuesday as prosecutors press their case that excessive force transformed the late-night stop of the Black man in the summer of 2019 into a fatal encounter.

Criminal charges were brought in 2021 after a national racial reckoning in the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police galvanized criticism over law enforcement abuses against Black people and revived interest in McClain’s case.

The officers put McClain in a neck hold during the stop, and McClain can be heard on body camera footage saying he’s having trouble breathing. Defense attorneys argue the officers were correctly performing their duties before paramedics gave McClain an overdose of a powerful sedative that led to complications causing his death.