Three Colorado Springs police officers did not use excessive force during the arrest of a Black veteran last October, according to a second internal investigation by CSPD.
The department is facing a federal civil rights lawsuit regarding the incident.
Lawyers for 29-year-old Dalvin Gadson claim officers beat him when he didn't get out of the car during a traffic stop for a license plate violation. Police say he resisted their commands and became aggressive, kicking one of the officers when they tried to arrest him for a suspected DUI. Records also allege he reached for a knife in the center console.
Gadson's lawyers deny that and say their client was confused as to why he was under arrest.
Despite the findings, two of the three officers named in Gadson's lawsuit are facing reprimands from CSPD for the incident.
Officer Christopher Hummel received a 10-hour suspension and is being removed from his position as a training officer for using demeaning language during the arrest. The report from CSPD also said Hummel said, "I slapped the ever-living f*** out of this dude," when discussing the arrest with other responders.
Both statements, and similar comments, were captured on Hummel's body-worn camera. The report calls his actions "demeaning and unacceptable."
"The comments also damage the trust between our community and all members of the Colorado Springs Police Department," the report said.
Officer Matthew Anderson is receiving a disciplinary report and 10 hours of training on the proper use of force. Camera footage from the arrest showed Anderson leveraging 13-14 consecutive punches to Gadson's face and head and a dozen continuous punches to his side and abdomen. Department policy says officers who use force should stop and see if what they're doing is working before reevaluating and giving verbal commands. According to the report, Anderson's continual punching did not meet that threshold.
A third officer, Colby J. Hickman, will not face any disciplinary action.
In a release following the results of the internal investigation, Gadson's lawyers released the following statement:
“It’s clear to us that any investigation controlled by (CSPD) Chief (Adrian) Vasquez and his command staff isn’t worth the paper it's printed on," the lawyers stated. "That’s why we called for an independent investigation and that’s why we reached out to the United States Department of Justice.”
The Colorado Springs Police Department is not releasing any further comment on the case, citing the active civil litigation.
In December, Gadson's lawyers said prosecutors dismissed several charges against him related to the incident, including a misdemeanor DUI charge and two felony charges of Second Degree Assault on a Police Officer. He was also charged with Resisting Arrest and Obstructing a Peace Office, both misdemeanors.
The district attorney's office dropped all charges against Gadson in January. Gadson paid a $15 fine for the license plate violation, as ordered by the court.
Gadson's lawsuit is one of several ongoing claims against Colorado Springs police officers alleging excessive force.
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.