“Elijah, here in Colorado, was a lightning rod for social justice reform,” Mr. Mohamedbhai said.

Mr. McClain was a massage therapist who loved animals and music, having taught himself to play the guitar and the violin.

His family knew him for his drive and determination to improve his life, an energy that they say inspired those around him.

Mr. McClain suffered from asthma as a child, Ms. McClain said. But through his perseverance, he became a strong runner.

“To be able to run down the streets for hours, for miles, that was something both of us, all of us were proud of,” she said. “He was accomplishing all of his obstacles, he was hurdling over those placements in his path, and he was clearing them.”

Since her son’s death, Ms. McClain, who raised Mr. McClain as a single mother, with the two of them sometimes living in their car and sometimes in hotels and shelters, has played an instrumental role in pushing government officials to act on police reform.

“I’ve never seen such drive by a parent to just really try to move our communities forward and to bring meaning to Elijah’s senseless death,” Mr. Mohamedbhai said. “It really goes to show his light and grace and beauty.”

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