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Colorado Edition: What's Next?

Matt Bloom
Monique Brooks Roberts performs at a concert in Elijah McClain's memory in Aurora Sunday night.

Today on Colorado Edition: we'll hear some of the sounds from a concert held Sunday night in Elijah McClain's honor. Plus, we'll learn about a new investigation into the use of ketamine in our state and look at campaign finance contributions in Colorado. Finally, we celebrate the 104th birthday of the National Park Service with a conversation with the superintendent of Rocky Mountain National Park.

Concert Held In Elijah McClain’s Honor

Monday, Aug. 24, is the one-year anniversary of Elijah McClain’s fatal encounter with Aurora Police.

Last August, the 23-year-old Black man was stopped by police officers who had received reports of a "suspicious person." During the encounter, officers put McClain in a chokehold two times. Then a medic injected him with ketamine, a powerful anesthetic meant to sedate him. He died several days later in the hospital.

Though the official autopsy was inconclusive, in a lawsuit his family argues police brutality and the use of the drug contributed to his death.

On Sunday, a concert was held in McClain’s honor. KUNC’s Matt Bloom brought us some of the sounds and voices from the evening.

State Launches Investigation Into Ketamine Waiver Program

Hundreds of people in Colorado, including Elijah McClain, have been given the anesthetic ketamine during confrontations with police. It’s meant to sedate people who are extremely agitated or excited. But its use is increasingly controversial in the wake of McClain’s death.

Over the weekend, Colorado's top public health official announced a thorough review of the system that allows medics to use ketamine in this way. It comes after ongoing investigations by KUNC reporters Michael de Yoanna and Rae Solomon, who joined us to explain the latest.

Campaign Fundraising

According to an analysis by the Colorado Sun, residents from Colorado have donated almost $5.6 million dollars to President Donald Trump’s campaign and $3.2 million dollars to former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign through the end of June. Sandra Fish, who reported on the topic, joined us to explain what we know about campaign finance contributions going into November.

National Park Service Celebrates Birthday Tuesday

Tuesday marks the 104th birthday of the National Park Service. And in celebration of that birthday, we spoke with Darla Sidles, the superintendent of Rocky Mountain National Park.

Colorado Edition is made possible with support from our KUNC members. Thank you!

Our theme music was composed by Colorado musicians Briana Harris and Johnny Burroughs. Other music in the show by Blue Dot Sessions.

Colorado Edition is hosted by Erin O'Toole (@ErinOtoole1) and Henry Zimmerman, and produced by Lily Tyson. The web was edited by digital editor Jackie Hai. KUNC news director Brian Larson is our executive producer. We get production help from Rae Solomon.

KUNC's Colorado Edition is a news magazine taking an in-depth look at the issues and culture of Northern Colorado. It's available on our website, as well as on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can hear the show on KUNC's air, Monday through Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

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