Man beaten by Colorado Springs police during traffic stop calls for criminal investigation into officers’ conduct

Attorneys for a man violently arrested by three Colorado Springs police officers in October are calling for a criminal investigation into the cops’ use of force.

“Dalvin Gadson was a homeless veteran living out of his car as he worked to reenlist and continue serving his country,” Harry Daniels, Gadson’s civil rights attorney, said in a news release. “But all these officers saw was a Black man and they beat him for it, smiling for the camera as he lay on the ground bleeding. They beat him mercilessly and now he’s afraid to go outside and the VA can’t see him to treat his injuries and PTSD until January.”

The Colorado Springs Police Department on Tuesday released body camera footage of the Oct. 9 arrest. The videos show the first officer on scene, Colby Hickman, told the two men inside the car to stay seated. He told them he pulled them over because there were no license plates on the vehicle and asked for the two men’s identification before returning to his patrol car.

Hickman called for backup and once two more officers arrived they approached the car again, noting that they smelled marijuana and that there was a knife in the center console. The officers decided to detain Gadson, who was in the driver’s seat, on suspicion of driving under the influence. Gadson had been driving 15 mph in a 45 mph zone and his speech was slurred, officers alleged in Gadson’s arrest paperwork.

Hickman asked Gadson to step out of the car and the video shows Gadson swinging his legs out of the car to put his shoes on. Hickman then told Gadson he was going to detain him for suspicion of DUI and to stand up and put his hands behind his back.

Gadson refused to get out of the car and the officers lunged at him as he pulled away back into the car, according to the video.

In the arrest affidavit, officers alleged that they didn’t want Gadson to be near the knife in the center console. One officer, Matthew Anderson, punched Gadson repeatedly in the face while Gadson was still in his car, body camera footage shows. The officers fought with Gadson for a minute and a half, according to the video.

Officer Christopher Hummel called Gadson a “dumb (expletive)” while kneeling on top of Gadson once he was handcuffed and facedown on the ground.

Gadson was transported to a hospital where he refused to take a substance screen, according to his arrest affidavit. He suffered injuries to his eye, a ruptured eardrum and PTSD, according to his attorney.

Prosecutors charged Gadson with second-degree assault of a police officer, obstructing a peace officer, resisting arrest, failing to display license plates and driving under the influence. They later dropped the assault charges, online court records show.

An administrative review by the Colorado Springs Police Department found the officers’ actions to be within policy, the department said in a news release. An internal affairs investigation remains open. All three officers remain on full duty, department spokesman Robert Tornabene said.

“It is imperative that we look at all the facts when evaluating officer interactions with citizens. We will respect the ongoing court process but welcome dialogue with our community when we are free to talk about this case further,” Colorado Springs police Chief Adrian Vasquez said in a news release.

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