Protect Our Communities: End Forced Ketamine Injections From Police

Hundreds of Coloradans a year are subjected to forced ketamine injections during police encounters. Almost 1 in 5 of these non-hospital ketamine injections result in serious complications and even death.[1Despite these well-documented dangers, over 100 Colorado agencies still have authorization to use ketamine on civilians, and do, frequently.[2]

Right now, lawmakers in Colorado have the power to end this inhumane, reckless, and lethal use of ketamine on unwilling civilians. They need to hear from you that this is critical to the safety of our communities.

Elijah McKnight is one civilian who received two forced injections of ketamine despite the fact that he was hand-cuffed and cooperating with police. When police asked paramedics if they could “give him (McKnight) anything,” a paramedic replied that they could “give him ketamine, and he’ll be sleeping like a baby.” McKnight begged the authorities to not give him anything. Despite his pleas, ketamine injections from authorities sent Elijah McKnight to the ICU for over a week, where he thought he was going to die.

Elijah McKnight, posing for a selfie in front of a mural of Elijah McClain.Elijah McKnight poses for a selfie in front of a mural of Elijah McClain.

Elijah McKnight has this to say about the passage of HB21-1251:

"Injecting folks with ketamine while they are already restrained by the police is completely irresponsible. I was injected twice at the police’s request. The first injection was after they tazed me several times and I was handcuffed on the ground. Before the injection they even agreed I was being cooperative. The second came after I had been left laying on the ground, handcuffed, completely still, for several minutes.

I had a machine completely breathing for me for several days and was hospitalized in the ICU for about a week and a half. I am not the only one this has happened to. There will never be justice for Elijah McClain because they took his life, but we can prevent this from happening to anyone else. Cops are not above the law. They must be held accountable. This must end.”

We have the power to stop the death and trauma that comes from involuntary sedation.

Demand that the Colorado State Legislature do their job and protect Coloradans from forcible injections of ketamine — demand they vote YES on HB21-1251.

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