Without an admission of wrongdoing, Aurora, Colorado agreed to pay $110,000 to settle an unlawful police stop and detention lawsuit from a Black man against the city’s police department, KDVR-TV reports.
The American Civil Liberties Union, which filed the lawsuit on behalf of Darsean Kelley, said in a statement on Thursday that the police tased him in the back as he was saying, “I know my rights.”
According to the ACLU, the Aurora police officers responded in February 2016 to a call about a potential crime but had no description of the suspects. They decided to detain Kelley and his cousin, who were walking in the area. Kelley demanded to know why he was stopped and whether he was under arrest.
Instead of answering, the officers ordered both men to sit down on the pavement. Kelley, with his hands up in the air, refused to sit because of an injury. As Kelley tells the cops that he knows his rights, an officer fired his stun gun, and Kelley fell.
The police arrested Kelley and charged him with misdemeanor failure to obey a lawful order. He spent three days in jail before making bond.
The ACLU released a video from an officer’s body camera that captured the encounter.
An internal police review cleared the officers of wrongdoing, saying they complied with department policies. The city told KDVR-TV that it agreed to settle the lawsuit because it would cost more to defend.
“That the Aurora Police Department reviewed this incident and gave it a departmental stamp of approval shows the Department is incapable of policing itself,” ACLU Staff Attorney Rebecca T. Wallace said in a statement.