A Colorado man is suing Sgt. Steven Holton and Detective Ben Russell of the Westminster Police Department and North Metro Drug Task Force for excessive use of force he and his attorneys say caused lasting painful injuries.
Since 1988, David Martinez has been the owner of Davian’s Tattoo: Body Tattoo and Piercing and has been in business. Martinez claims he was beaten last summer without provocation by Holton and Russell and now has the video to prove it.
The lawsuit alleges Martinez was smoking a cigar on August 10, 2016, behind his business when (according to the lawsuit) Holden rushed him, “stiff-armed Mr. Martinez in the throat and then began viciously punching Mr. Martinez in the face and head. Det. Russell then joined in the melee and assisted in assaulting a man who had not refused a single order or command prior to being throat-punched.”
Martinez fell over toward the bench before Holden then grabbed his head and started slamming it into the concrete wall. Russell joined in the beat down. According to the Denver Post:
Russell ran up and began punching Martinez and slamming his head into the wall repeatedly, the lawsuit says. The officers then dragged Martinez to the pavement and attempted to choke him. Martinez was bleeding and trying to protect his head, the lawsuit says.
The businessman said he did nothing to provoke the attack yet the Westminster police department later claimed their officers did nothing wrong.
According to the Denver Post, ”Cheri Spottke, Westminster police spokeswoman, said the department investigated Martinez’ claims and cleared the officers of wrongdoing, saying they acted within police policy guidelines."
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Unfortunately, that denial of responsibility is what often happens when police departments investigate themselves. Such as is the case with the Westminster police officers whose actions seem more rogue and corrupt than civilized.
In fact, the video appears much more damning than the accusations in the lawsuit. Holden can be seen giving Martinez a left hook to the jaw which apparently knocked the man out. Even though he and his lawyers are suing for an unspecified amount, his injuries were detailed in the filing. Martinez “had bruises and cuts on his face and head and suffered a hernia that required surgery” the lawsuit contends.
All three of the officers displayed in the video were in plain clothes. The attack was ferocious and vicious and was followed by two of the men in the video rifling through all of Martinez’ pockets with one man putting something he found in his pocket.
It’s unclear what that item was and who it belonged to. If the three men weren’t police officers one might be tempted to believe (without a description of what had taken place) that they had just witnessed a gang-style assault and robbery by heavy-handed thugs.
And that’s precisely what Martinez and his lawyers allege, that the officers broke with police department policy, and victimized a citizen, Gangland-style, unprovoked, and without resistance on his part. He and his lawyers will likely win a multi-million dollar settlement and the officers will likely continue their reign of terror over the average citizen.
You decide. Did the tattoo parlor owner provoke the police to beat him senseless? How long will Americans continue to defend these actions of its boys in blue? Like, comment and share.