Lawyers representing a Black driver who was brutally beaten by police officers during a traffic stop in Colorado have released videos to support their demands for criminal charges. In doing so, it was revealed that several Colorado Springs cops laughed after they left Dalvin Gadson, a U.S. military veteran, critically injured and covered in his own blood following the fateful encounter in October.
NewsOne has obtained and reviewed the video footage taken from officers’ body cameras.
The video begins with an officer pulling over Gadson for not properly displaying his license plate. Minutes after being pulled over, Gadson is told he’s being detained for a DUI because the officer said he smelled marijuana. The suspicion required Gadson to be placed in handcuffs, the cops said, prompting officers to immediately begin yanking and pelting him with punches from the driver’s side of the car as well as from the passenger’s side.
One of the three officers on the scene can be seen raining down punches while accusing Gadson of “assaulting” the cops, something the Black man repeatedly denied.
“I’m not hitting anybody, dog,” Gadson says truthfully as he’s yanked from his car onto the ground while officers repeatedly strike him.
Officers ordered Gadson to put his arms behind his back while restricting his ability to move.
It all unfolded in less than nine minutes.
Later in the bodycam footage, one of the officers involved seemed to revel in the police violence.
“I [EXPLETIVE] drew down on him when you were hitting him,” one said while others are heard laughing while talking about beating Gadson, who served in the Army National Guard as a helicopter mechanic.
One of the photos taken in the aftermath of the beating shows an officer smiling while proudly displaying what appears to be a bloody knuckle, presumably from punching Gadson.
Attorneys representing Gadson condemned the police violence and called for the officers to be arrested and charged.
“It’s difficult to listen to these officers laugh and joke about beating a veteran to a bloody mess and drawing their firearm on an unarmed man,” civil rights attorney Harry Daniels said in a statement emailed to NewsOne. “With officers this casual about the use of excessive and potentially deadly force, Dalvin Gadson is lucky to be alive.”
Bakari Sellers, who is also representing Daniels, said the officers broke the law and should be held accountable.
“There’s no excuse for the excessive violence and brutality these officers used against Mr. Gadson,” Sellers said in a statement. “No matter what excuse they try to manufacture, the fact is that they beat an unarmed man, a veteran, and they should be charged.”
Adding insult to literal injury, 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. The assault charges were eventually dropped and the DUI charge was dismissed last week after it was determined that “there was insufficient probable cause to require a blood test.”
Daniels, whose office previously released graphic images of Gadson covered in blood following the police violence, suggested the officers involved were motivated by race.
“Dalvin Gadson was a homeless veteran living out of his car as he worked to reenlist and continue serving his country. 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,” civil rights attorney Harry Daniels said in a press release with graphic images of Gadson following the traffic stop. “They beat him mercilessly and now he’s afraid to go outside and the VA can’t see him to treat his injuries and PTSD until January.”
Gadson noted in a GoFundMe he set up to pay for legal fees that none of the officers on the scene attempted to intervene and stop the excessive brutality he was subjected to.
“There was thirteen police officers on the scene,” Gadson wrote on the GoFundMe.
Gadson said he’s been left “terrified” of police officers.
“My liberty and pursuit of happiness is in jeopardy because of this incident,” Gadson said. “I don’t feel safe in my own neighborhood anymore.”
Indeed, as Daniels said, Gadson is lucky to be alive.
To be sure, driving while Black has reached epidemic proportions in the U.S.
Just last month, a police officer in central Louisiana shot and killed an unarmed Black male driver in the head.
In August, Mississippi Highway Patrol officer Hayden Falvey was cleared of all wrongdoing despite video evidence that he brutally beat a Black driver who was in handcuffs.
There are far too many other examples to list here, including Daunte Wright, who was notoriously pulled over for displaying too many air fresheners hanging from his rear view mirror before a police officer purportedly confused her taser for her gun and shot the 20-year-old Black man to death.
This is America.
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