Two Colorado officers have been arrested and charged in connection to a violent detention earlier in the month, with one seen in newly released body camera footage striking a suspect's head with his handgun.
Officer John Haubert has been charged with attempted first-degree assault, second-degree assault, felony menacing, official oppression, and first-degree official misconduct. Officer Francine Martinez was hit with charges over her alleged failure to intervene in the incident, the Aurora Police Department announced on Tuesday.
Body camera footage released by law enforcement showed the two officers approaching three men on Friday before two of them quickly darted off. The pair then confronted Kyle Vinson, who still remained in the area, and instructed him to roll onto his stomach and put his hands out in front of him.
Moments later, Haubert can be seen pressing his firearm into the man's head as Vinson sobbed and insisted, “I can’t even breathe, dude."
Haubert barked back, “You have a gun pointed straight at your head. Cooperate.”
Haubert then jabs his gun repeatedly into Vinson's neck and face before the man is seen bleeding from a number of welts on his head.
“You move, I will shoot you," Haubert said.
The struggle continued for about three minutes before backup arrived and handcuffed Vinson.
Aurora Police Chief Vanessa Wilson, who ordered an internal affairs investigation, criticized the two officers responsible during a press conference.
"We're disgusted. We're angry. This is not police work," she said. "This is not the Aurora Police Department. This was criminal."
One of the gashes on Vinson's head required seven stitches, and his father, Maurice, said his son could have died during the struggle.
"I thought he was gonna die," he said, according to CBS News. "Because he said, 'You're killing me.'"
Haubert has since been placed on administrative leave, though the department announced that he tendered his resignation. A lawyer for the officer said he would "zealously" defend his client, though he did not provide more detail, according to the outlet. Martinez is on leave without pay. Her charges are misdemeanors.
Vinson had an outstanding warrant for a parole violation at the time of the incident. It remains unclear whether Aurora authorities will pursue charges against him.
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Original Author: Jake Dima