Tennis player Naomi Osaka has stepped onto court wearing mask in memory of Elijah McClain who was shot and killed by police in Colorado.
Osaka entered the Arthur Ashe Stadium wearing the mask that read ‘Elijah McClain’ before her US Open win on Wednesday.
McClain, 23, died after being stopped on the street and put into a chokehold in the Denver suburb of Aurora on August 24, 2019.
Tennis player Naomi Osaka stepped onto court wearing mask in memory of Elijah McClain who was shot and killed by police in Colorado, pictured above
He was walking alone along a street after buying iced tea from a convenience store when he was stopped by three white officers.
The officers – Nathan Woodyard, Jason Rosenblatt and Randy Roedema – said they were responding to a call about a suspicious person wearing a ski mask and waving his arms.
The 911 caller had told the dispatcher that the man, identified as McClain, ‘might be a good person or a bad person’ and noted that he didn’t have any weapons on him.
When he was approached by the officers, McClain insisted he had done nothing wrong and kept walking. Bodycam footage shows McClain being tackled to the ground and put in a chokehold by the officers.
Elijah McClain, 23, died after being stopped on the street and put into a chokehold in the Denver suburb of Aurora on August 24, 2019
Paramedics later injected him with 500mg of the sedative ketamine to calm him down. During the confrontation, McClain said he could not breathe before vomiting repeatedly, fainting and then going into cardiac arrest.
He was later declared brain dead and taken off life support several days later.
It comes two days after Osaka wore a face-mask onto the court bearing the name of Breonna Taylor, who was shot dead by police in Louisville in March.
The tennis star had initially pulled out of her semi-final at last week’s Western & Southern Open in solidarity with protesters.
The 22-year-old Osaka said that she planned to wear a mask bearing the name of a different shooting victim for each round that she remains in this year’s tournament in her mission to highlight issues of racial injustice.
Osaka told Amazon Prime: ‘Actually I have seven (masks), and it’s quite sad that seven masks isn’t enough for the amount of names.
‘So hopefully I will get to the finals and you can see all of them.’
Breonna Taylor was killed when three police officers – sergeant Jonathan Mattingly and officers Brett Hankinson and Myles Cosgrove – burst into her apartment looking for convicted drug dealer Jamarcus Glover.
Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, opened fire, believing robbers had broke in, before the cops responded by firing more than 20 rounds of their own.
Breonna Taylor, 26, was shot eight times while sleeping in her bed with her boyfriend Kenneth Walker when three plain clothes officers performed a no-knock arrest warrant at her Louisville apartment on March 13
Naomi Osaka wears a face mask bearing the name of Breonna Taylor, who was shot dead by police in Louisville in March
Taylor was hit eight times and died on the night of March 13, sparking protests which flared up again following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May.
The officers claim they identified themselves as police upon arrival at the property but Walker and Taylor’s family have disputed this.
The cops were not wearing bodycameras at the time.
Officers had been searching for convicted drug dealer Jamarcus Glover, who they believed may have been keeping drugs or money at the home.
However, no drugs or cash were found at Taylor’s apartment and Glover had already been arrested 10 miles away and taken into police custody before the raid at her address.
Osaka made quick work of second-round opponent Camila Giorgi 6-1 6-2 at the U.S. Open on Wednesday
Osaka had reversed her decision to withdraw from last week’s tournament after discussions with organisers, only to subsequently pull out ahead of the final against Victoria Azarenka due to a hamstring injury.
Osaka made quick work of second-round opponent Camila Giorgi 6-1 6-2 at the U.S. Open on Wednesday.
A dominant Osaka came roaring out of the gate, winning the first five straight games in near-pristine form, committing just four unforced errors in the first set and winning 10 of her 12 first-serve points.