Colorado Springs police: No excessive force in Dalvin Gadson incident

An internal affairs investigation into complaints of excessive force by a man who was arrested by three Colorado Springs police officers last year concluded those allegations were unfounded. However, the investigation recommended two of the officers be disciplined for violating the department’s training and expectations.

Attorneys for Dalvin Gadson lodged the complaint against officers Colby J. Hickman, Matthew Anderson and Christopher K. Hummel after they forcefully arrested Gadson on Oct. 9, when he was pulled over in a traffic stop and refused to get out of the car.

In an interoffice memo to the Internal Affairs Unit that was released to the public Friday, Deputy Chief David Edmondson concurred with the findings of the unit and agreed that the excessive force allegations were unfounded and no further action should be recommended.

Police command, however, took issue with Anderson for the “13-14 consecutive punches to the face and head and the 11-12 consecutive punches to the side and abdomen of the complainant,” according to the memo. “While the number of total strikes meet the threshold of lawfulness under the totality of the circumstances, the action is not in line with the training and expectations of the Colorado Springs Police Department.”

Edmondson, in the memo, noted Anderson’s actions “do not appear to be a pattern of behavior with only one other sustained allegation in the last four years.” Anderson was ordered to undergo 10 hours of “remedial scenario training on properly evaluating the effectiveness of uses of force, assessing other options, and using verbal commands for compliance throughout the use of force.”

Hummel used foul language and made inappropriate and unprofessional comments during the incident, investigators found. He received a 10-hour suspension and was removed from his position as a police training officer.

The officers initially used nonviolent means in attempting to arrest Gadson on suspicion of DUI, according to Friday’s news release, including talking to Gadson and giving him commands, with which he did not comply. The incident escalated when Gadson refused to get out of the vehicle and officers said they saw a knife in the center console of Gadson’s vehicle.

In addition to releasing the memo and findings from the internal affairs investigation, the police department also released all of the footage from the officers’ body-worn cameras, some of which already had been made public.

A federal civil rights lawsuit that Gadson’s attorneys filed against the police department over the incident is ongoing.

“Let’s be clear. These officers beat Dalvin Gadson,” attorney Harry Daniels said in a statement from his law firm. “They punched and kicked him multiple times in the head and body while he posed no threat to them. Chief (Adrian) Vasquez and his command staff want the people of Colorado to believe that wasn’t excessive force. They want us to ignore the truth that we’ve seen with our own eyes and take their word for it.”

Daniels, in a phone interview, said that his law office continues to call for an “independent investigation” into the incident and that they have been in contact with the U.S. Department of Justice.

According to the lawsuit, the Colorado Springs officers “deliberately, knowingly, intentionally and violently” beat Gadson without any kind of verbal warning as required by the police department’s own Use of Force Policy.

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