The review focuses on determining whether a federal civil rights investigation is warranted, according to the statement.
“The matter is ongoing, and we are in the process of gathering additional evidence from the Aurora Police Department and other parties,” he said. “To date, the city of Aurora has been cooperating.”
McClain’s family attorney expressed surprise at the decision.
“I am surprised and pleased to hear that the FBI, the US Attorney’s Office and the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division are considering a civil rights investigation,” Mari Newman said in a statement.
“The Aurora Police Department has a long and sordid history of brutality and racism, and a thorough civil rights investigation is long overdue. I invite these agencies to communicate and they will happily provide information to assist in this critically important investigation,” Newman said. said.
McClain, a 23-year-old black man, was arrested by three white officers in August as he was walking home from a nearby store. A person who called 911 had described a “suspicious person,” according to a police description of the incident.
After McClain resisted contact with officers, a fight ensued and an officer placed McClain in a Carotid hold, or stranglehold, and passed out briefly, according to a general description of the incident provided by police.
McClain started fighting again once he was released from the hold, according to the report. When paramedics arrived, they administered the drug ketamine to sedate McClain, according to the report. McClain suffered a heart attack while in the ambulance and was declared brain dead three days later, the district attorney said in a letter.
More license officers after photos come out
Several Aurora agents were also placed on administrative leave after images of them appeared near the site where McClain died.
An investigation is pending, the chief said in a statement.
“This investigation will be publicly disclosed in its entirety immediately upon completion,” said Chief Vanessa Wilson. “This will include reports, photographic evidence obtained, names of officers, and my final determination that may raise the level of completion.”
In a statement posted on Twitter, Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman said he was “deeply concerned” about the events related to the photos, which the chief shared with him.
In their statement, the FBI and the Justice Department said they were aware of “recent media reports” about the investigation of a photograph.
“We are gathering more information on that incident to determine if a federal civil rights investigation is warranted,” his statement said. “We will have no further comments until both reviews are completed.”
CNN’s Joe Sutton contributed to this report.