Three Colorado Springs Police officers sued for alleged excessive force in 2020 arrest of a teenage girl
Three Colorado Springs Police officers are being sued for allegedly using grossly excessive force during the arrest of a teenage girl two years ago.
The suit names Sergeant Gregory Wilhelmi, Officer Ryan Yoshimiya and Officer Brianna Ragsdale as defendants. It alleges that during an Oct. 17, 2020 incident, they arrested 17-year-old Amara Keens-Dumas while she was "hysterical and panicked" following a verbal, non-physical argument with her boyfriend. It says officers Yoshimiya and Ragsdale began questioning the teen, who refused to answer their questions or sit down.
Officer Ragsdale and Sergeant Wilhelmi then allegedly "put" Keens-Dumas "on the asphalt" before handcuffing her and putting her in a police car. According to the timeline in the lawsuit, during that interaction, Officer Yoshimiya, a male, touched Keens-Dumas’s thigh which "triggered a trauma response and extreme emotional distress" because, the lawsuit said, the teen had been raped five years prior.
Once in the vehicle, the lawsuit says the teen was screaming, "I'm a rape victim, 2015 ... Give me my phone. I'm a minor. Give me my mom."
Sergeant Wilhelmi then allegedly sprayed Keens-Dumas in the face twice with pepper spray while she was handcuffed in the back of the car.
From there, the allegations say "Wilhelmi and Yoshimiya then closed the car doors on Ms. Keens-Dumas, leaving her to sit in a fog of pepper spray in excruciating pain," for 10 minutes.
She only received medical treatment when EMS arrived. The officers transported the teen to a police station, where she was later released into her mother's custody.
The Colorado Springs Police Department, which is not named as a defendant, has not commented on the allegations, as is customary with active litigation.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages, policy changes to avoid similar misconduct within the CSPD and a formal written apology from each defendant to Keens-Dumas.
Southern Colorado is changing a lot these days. We can help you keep up. Sign up for the KRCC Weekly Digest here and get the stories that matter to Southern Colorado, delivered straight to your inbox.