By COLLEEN SLEVIN and MATTHEW BROWN
DENVER (AP) — The trial of two Denver-area police officers charged in Elijah McClain’s 2019 death is underway this week. Prosecutors are pressing their case that the officers’ excessive force transformed the late-night stop of the Black man into a fatal encounter. Defense attorneys argue the officers were correctly performing their duties when paramedics gave McClain an overdose of a powerful sedative. A defense attorney suggested Tuesday that McClain’s attempts to resist the officers also could have contributed to his death by making it harder for him to breathe. Criminal charges were brought in 2021 after a national racial reckoning in the murder of George Floyd galvanized criticism over law enforcement abuses against Black people.