The case stemmed from an August 2020 arrest and what occurred within the jail afterward.
ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. — Police are required to police the police.
Colorado regulation now requires regulation enforcement officers to cease different officers from utilizing extreme power, or report it after it occurs.
In any other case, it’s a crime.
The “failure to intervene” a part of the state’s police accountability legal guidelines has been used to cost regulation enforcement officers in Loveland and Aurora, for prime profile incidents.
When an lawyer launched video of the violent arrest of 73-year-old Karen Garner in Loveland, two officers have been charged with crimes, together with one for failing to intervene.
Final week, Aurora’s police chief launched physique digicam footage exhibiting a use of power arrest that additionally resulted in two officers being charged with against the law, together with one for failing to intervene.
Nevertheless it took an open information request to search out the primary time the failure to intervene crime was ever charged, together with the six-figure settlement paid to the sufferer.
“I bought up, and I seemed up on the digicam, and I requested them, ‘does this video work?’ And he informed me, ‘sure,'” mentioned Michael Cassidy.
Cassidy was arrested in August 2020 on a sequence of costs that have been finally dismissed.
What occurred to him on the Adams County Detention Heart final summer season not solely resulted in prison costs towards three Adams County Sheriff’s Deputies, but it surely additionally led to a $300,000 settlement with the county.
“I used to be assaulted in jail in handcuffs,” mentioned Cassidy.
Repeated requests for the jail video exhibiting what occurred have been denied. The Adams County Sheriff’s Workplace wouldn’t launch the video. Why?
“This can be a pending case that’s nonetheless within the means of prosecution so the DAs workplace doesn’t need the video launched at this level for a number of causes,” Sgt. Adam Sherman wrote in a June e-mail.
For the reason that video just isn’t being launched, we’ve got to depend on Cassidy’s play-by-play of getting his fingers cuffed behind his again in a locked jail cell.
“I slipped them in entrance of my physique, and I used to be informed after that, by the jailers, to place them again behind my physique, and as I used to be doing that, I bought jumped and beat up,” mentioned Cassidy. “I had completed placing the cuffs behind my again they usually jumped on high of me.”
Prosecutors with the seventeenth Judicial District Lawyer’s Workplace charged Deputy Andrew McCormick with assault. Nearly one 12 months later, he stays on unpaid administrative depart till an inside affairs investigation is accomplished. That will not occur till his court docket case is finished, which hasn’t gone to trial but.
Deputies Chad Krause and Michael Montgomery have been additionally charged with assault, and for the primary time within the state’s historical past, failure to intervene. They’re assigned to administrative duties. In response to Sherman which means they aren’t appearing in a regulation enforcement capability.
“The failure to intervene and the responsibility to report actually got here after what occurred with George Floyd, particularly, as a result of we noticed so many officers standing round and doing nothing or serving to out, proper?” What we did was we created a failure to intervene and to report with a thoughts of fixing tradition inside police departments, by saying not solely will you not stand for it, you’ll report it,” mentioned State Rep. Leslie Herod, D-Denver.
Herod sponsored the regulation in 2020, with some additions handed by the lawmakers this previous legislative session.
It features a provision that video get launched no later than 45 days after the allegation of misconduct.
“When issues aren’t clear, when our authorities and our governmental entities will not be clear, it looks like they’re hiding one thing and we’ve got to convey that to gentle,” mentioned Herod.
The Weld County Sheriff’s Workplace investigated the incident, leading to a 72-page police report. Weld County wouldn’t present a replica of the report as a result of the seventeenth Judicial District Lawyer’s Workplace, which is prosecuting the case towards the Adams County deputies, didn’t need it launched.
In an announcement, Democratic District Lawyer Brian Mason wrote:
The District Lawyer’s Workplace is dedicated to transparency within the prison justice system and in our work. Our dedication to transparency should comply, nevertheless, with the authorized guidelines of ethics and Colorado’s Guidelines of Skilled Conduct, which govern what we’re permitted to disseminate to the general public when a prison case remains to be pending. These guidelines are in place to make sure that the integrity of an investigation is upheld and that defendants have a good trial.
“The general public dissemination of sure items of proof and knowledge previous to trial can jeopardize the important thing obligations the workplace and its prosecutors should keep. Any suggestion or insinuation that the seventeenth Judicial District Lawyer’s Workplace is hiding info associated to this case is just unfaithful. This workplace charged and is actively prosecuting three regulation enforcement officers for this alleged crime, and we’ll proceed to see the case by means of to its conclusion. When it’s applicable and moral to take action, proof and extra info associated to this case shall be publicly disseminated upon request.”
“Whereas the video just isn’t public, it was public to me. I noticed it, and so did the county,” mentioned Cassidy’s lawyer John Holland. “If I might filed swimsuit, I might have needed to file swimsuit with out the video, then I might have gotten the video. We’d have gotten the video then, after which we in all probability would have held a press convention.”
Holland watched the video; he simply didn’t get a replica. Then once more, he didn’t want a replica to get the six-figure settlement.
“How come I haven’t got the video? I demanded the video and I used to be refused the video by the District Lawyer’s Workplace, by the County Lawyer’s Workplace, by the Adams County Sheriff’s Division, and I settled the case with no judicial submitting,” mentioned Holland.
In regards to the $300,000 settlement.
The Adams County Fee paid Cassidy $300,000 on account of what occurred within the Adams County Detention Heart. You wouldn’t learn about it as a result of it was by no means voted on publicly.
At a December fee assembly, the commissioners agreed to enter non-public govt session to authorize the county lawyer to barter a settlement with Cassidy.
It was by no means introduced up once more.
First Modification lawyer Steve Zansberg believes that violates Colorado regulation.
“I consider that it is completely acceptable for county commissioners to authorize a negotiator for an quantity they’re prepared to settle a case for behind closed doorways, in govt session,” mentioned Zansberg. “As soon as the settlement has been negotiated and the claimant accepts it, then it is incumbent upon the county commissioners to have a public assembly and to let the general public know the way a lot cash in taxpayer funds are being spent, and who voted to approve it and who voted towards it.”
“Every taxpayer ought to know the way a lot their metropolis or jurisdiction is paying in these illegal use of power circumstances, and we also needs to have the ability to see the video so we will make a willpower, if we will, about if somebody stepped throughout the road,” mentioned Herod.
Put the settlement apart for a second. Cassidy was in jail. He was in handcuffs. Why ought to it matter what occurs behind the barbed wire fencing of a jail?
“There must be some accountability,” mentioned Cassidy. “The jail remains to be in the US of America, and the legal guidelines do apply to them.”
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