Attorneys for Dalvin Gadson, a 29-year-old Black man who was beaten by police officers during an October traffic stop in Colorado, are calling for a criminal investigation.
Gadson, a veteran, was living out of his car when he was stopped by an officer identified as Officer Hickman on Oct. 9 for an improperly displayed license tag. Hickman claimed to smell marijuana emanating from Gadson’s car and “observed that [Gadson’s] speech was slow,” according to court documents.
As other officers arrived on the scene, Gadson was ordered to exit his car and place his hands behind his back because he was being detained for suspicion of driving under the influence.
According to his lawyers, civil rights attorney Harry Daniels and Latrice Latin, Gadson refused to exit his car because he did not understand why he was being detained; marijuana is legal in Colorado. Court documents also said that “odor alone is insufficient without other evidence of impairment.”
When Gadson refused to leave his car, officers attempted to forcibly remove him by punching him repeatedly in the face and head.
However, according to lawyers, officers continued to beat Gadson in the head and back even after he was removed from the vehicle. Court documents said Gadson “was struck in the head multiple times causing a facial laceration and swelling.”
Gadson was taken to a hospital for evaluation and treatment. An officer who rode in the ambulance with Gadson later reported she did not smell any marijuana, though she acknowledged Gadson’s speech was slurred.
Photos from the altercation, released on Monday, show Gadson lying on his left side on the ground, the right side of his face covered in blood, his right eye swollen, and bloodstains on his shirt and the ground. Another photo shows Gadson’s right arm scraped and bleeding.
Additional photos show police officers holding their arms or hands out after the beating, including one officer identified by his badge as M. Anderson, who appears to have blood on his right knuckles and is smiling at the camera.
“Dalvin Gadson was a homeless veteran living out of his car as he worked to reenlist and continue serving his country,” Daniels said at a press conference. “But all these officers saw was a Black man, and they beat him for it, smiling for the camera as he lay on the ground bleeding.”
Gadson received multiple injuries, including an injured eye, a ruptured eardrum and PTSD, according to his lawyers.
“They beat him mercilessly, and now he’s afraid to go outside, and the VA [Department of Veterans Affairs] can’t see him to treat his injuries and PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] until January,” Daniels said.
Gadson was charged with two counts of second-degree assault on a police officer, resisting arrest, obstructing a peace officer, driving under the influence and driving without license plates. Both assault charges have been dropped, and the DUI charge was dismissed in a Division of Motor Vehicles hearing on Dec. 7.
The Hill has reached out to the Colorado Springs Police Department for comment.
Colorado Springs has received attention this year for a number of racially charged incidents.
Earlier this year, the city settled a lawsuit after officers assaulted a Black Lives Matter protester. In early December, comedian Mark Curry said he was racially profiled and harassed by security officers at a hotel when two staff members asked Curry if he was a guest and then accused Curry of pulling “the race card” when he accused them of targeting him because he was Black.
Disclaimer: This article was originally posted on https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/3772065-attorneys-for-colorado-black-man-beaten-by-police-demand-investigation/