Ketamine that’s injected during arrests draws new scrutiny 1 year after in-custody death of Elijah McClain

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In this June 27, 2020 photo, demonstrators carry a giant placard during a rally and march over the death of 23-year-old Elijah McClain outside the police department in Aurora, Colorado. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

In this June 27, 2020 photo, demonstrators carry a giant placard during a rally and march over the death of 23-year-old Elijah McClain outside the police department in Aurora, Colorado. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

A drug called ketamine that’s injected as a sedative during arrests has drawn new scrutiny since a young Black man named Elijah McClain died in suburban Denver.

Officers stopped him on the street and put him in a chokehold before paramedics injected him a year ago Monday.

Paramedics use it often at the behest of police who believe suspects are out of control.

Ketamine has become another flashpoint in the debate over law enforcement policies and brutality against people of color.

An analysis by The Associated Press of policies on ketamine and cases where it was used nationwide uncovered a lack of police training, conflicting medical standards and nonexistent protocols that have resulted in hospitalizations and even deaths.

McClain, 23, was stopped by officers on Aug. 24, 2019, after receiving a 911 call about a “suspicious person” wearing a ski mask.

Police put him in a chokehold and then called paramedics to inject him with ketamine.

Paramedics incorrectly estimated his weight and gave him more than 1.5 times the dose of the powerful anesthetic he should have received for his weight, AP reports.

McClain suffered cardiac arrest and later died after being taken off life support.

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