Aurora, CO — The ACLU of Colorado has recently filed a lawsuit against two Aurora police officers after they assaulted and kidnapped an innocent man. The federal lawsuit follows the release of the body camera footage which prompted the legal action.
Dwight Crews is an innocent 60-year-old man who never had so much as a speeding ticket before police came to his door that night. Ironically, it was an act of heroism that prompted the police response that night. Instead of praising the 60-year-old, however, police proceeded to violate his rights.
Earlier in the night, Crews stepped in as his daughter’s husband attempted to physically abuse her in front of him. The husband, who happens to be white, called the police who seemingly sided with him and went after Crews, who is black.
Aurora police officers Steven Gerdjikian and Ryan Marker—the defendants in the ACLU lawsuit—showed up at Crews’ house at 2 a.m., and began banging on the door, demanding the 60-year-old man come outside.
“You’re going to get a warrant for your arrest if you don’t come down here to resolve this,” one officer said.
Crews, who did not immediately hear police knocking, took several minutes to open the door because he was upstairs on the third floor watching television. As he walked out of the door, he was immediately accosted by police who grabbed his arm and began searching him.
Not knowing why police were at his house, Crews asked the cops what they were doing there, but the officers refused to tell him. However, because the innocent man was pulled from his home immediately upon making contact with police, his door was left ajar. That’s when his cat walked out.
“My cat’s outside,” said Crews.
“Your cat’s been outside the whole time,” responds the cop.
“Archie! No, he has not,” Crews says with clear concern in his voice.
Crews then tries to pick his cat up and put him back inside, which provoked the cops to attack him. The officers then jumped on the 60-year-old man’s back and he was taken to the ground and injured by cops in the process.
He would then be arrested on charges of resisting arrest and suspicion of assault. However, neither of these charges would hold up.
As Westword notes, a judge didn’t see enough evidence to support the resisting-arrest accusation, and a jury subsequently found him not guilty of assaulting his son-in-law because he had been acting to defend his stepdaughter.
In spite of the fact that the assault of an innocent elderly man was captured on the officer’s own body camera, neither of the officers were disciplined. After the police investigated themselves, they found that the officers acted properly and released the following statement after they were presented with the lawsuit, reading in part:
With regard to this incident, which was captured on a body-worn camera, a use-of-force investigation was conducted by a supervisor, pursuant to the policy in effect two years ago, and the officers were found to have acted appropriately.
Due to active civil litigation, the Aurora Police Department is unable to comment any further on the matter at this time.
Below is what can happen to innocent people who try to stop their cats from running away while being harassed by cops at 2 a.m.
For those who don’t remember, the Aurora police department has quite the sordid past. As TFTP reported in July, an innocent man settled a lawsuit for $110,000 after cops were seen on video deploying a taser in his back as he stood there with his hands up.
The incident happened in February 2016, when the victim, Darsean Kelley, and his cousin were stopped by police. Officers were in the area responding to a weapons incident at a nearby apartment building and Kelley happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Police had no description of the suspect and decided to harass Kelley and his cousin.
Kelley was naturally upset that he’d been targeted by police for no reason, so he was verbally expressing it. He never once physically resisted, however.
As the incident begins, police tell the two men to put their hands in the air. Both of them comply. Then the officer yells for them to interlock their fingers on top of their heads. At this point, Kelley continues to ask why he is being detained.
The cops answer back by refusing to tell him why. Just as Kelley says, “I know my rights,” the taser is deployed into his back and he falls to the ground. Naturally, after police assaulted him for no reason, Kelley was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct — for asking a question and being tasered in the back. After spending three days in jail, he was bonded out.
The ACLU picked up his case as well and all charges against him were dropped.