NYC leaders react to indictments in Elijah McClain’s death

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Outrage over Elijah McClain’s 2019 death following an encounter with police officers and paramedics echoed from coast to coast. Then on Wednesday, two years after the 23-year-old’s death, three officers and two paramedics were indicted on 32 counts by a grand jury.

McClain’s death resonated in particular with impassioned New Yorkers who took to the streets in 2020 to protest the deaths of black men in police custody.

Veteran community activist Iesha Sekou is CEO of the New York City-based Street Corner Resources.

Sekou said Wednesday’s news proved the value of sustained protest.

“We need real action in order to have real reform. So I’m hoping this also gives out community a place of hope and validation for activism. This is change,” Sekou said.

New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams spent much of last year out on the front lines of various police reform protests.

“We have to get to a point where we can honestly say that Black lives matter, and it’s because Black lives appear to not have the same amount of value,” Wiliams said.

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