Two officers fired for photo at location of Elijah McClain arrest appeal their termination

Two Aurora police officers appealed their termination for snapping selfies mocking the death of Elijah McClain at the site where he was put into a carotid chokehold.

Erica Marrero and Kyle Dittrich filed their appeals with the city’s Civil Service Commission on Wednesday, city spokesman Michael Bryant said. Both officers were fired July 3.

The city will not provide the documents or the reasons for the appeals because they are considered personnel records and therefore are not subject to open records laws at this time, Bryant said.

The commission will schedule hearings for the two officers. City charter requires that the hearings be held within 30 days of the appeal, but the parties often file for extensions that delay the hearings, Bryant said.

The third officer in the pictures, Jaron Jones, resigned before he could be fired. A fourth officer, Jason Rosenblatt, was fired for texting “ha ha” in response to the photos. The photos showed the three officers pretending to use carotid chokes on each other — the same maneuver used against 23-year-old McClain before he became brain dead.

The officers explained during the internal affairs investigation said they were trying to cheer up Rosenblatt and another officer, who they considered friends, with the photos when they took them in October. Dittrich said he thought the photos would be funny.

Rosenblatt has not appealed his termination, Bryant said. The former officer has 10 days from his July 3 termination to file an appeal.

Rosenblatt was one of the three officers who responded to the 911 call about a suspicious person that lead to McClain’s death. The other two officers remain on the force.

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