McClain, 23, died last August during a confrontation with Aurora police officers. One officer placed McClain in a carotid hold, or chokehold. McClain suffered a heart attack while in the ambulance and was pronounced brain dead three days later.
“We not only recognize individuals’ right to freedom of speech and expression; we support and protect their right to do so in a peaceful manner,” Interim Aurora Police Chief Vanessa Wilson wrote in a statement to KMGH.
Wilson said the community was reeling from McClain’s death, who she said was “not only a beloved son, brother and friend, but also a valued member of our community.”
“I have heard from our community, and I am listening today,” Wilson wrote. “Their voices and concerns are not falling on deaf ears. I am devoted to meaningful reform, just as every good officer out here is.”
Protesters broke into different groups after shutting down the highway, police tweeted. Some continued on the highway while others moved to 6th Avenue and continued to walk, the tweet read.