Disturbing video of a Denver police officer brutally beating an unarmed suspect in August has surfaced after police allegedly attempted to erase the footage that was taken on a bystander’s Samsung tablet.
The witness, identified as Levi Frasier, told Fox 31 that police seized his tablet once they realized he was recording the beating, telling him that if he refused to give up the device they would do it “the hard way.” When it was returned, the video was gone.
Luckily, Frasier was able to recover the 55-second clip of the arrest and beating because it had been stored in the cloud. Now, Frasier is sharing his story and the disturbing clip that may land the unidentified plainclothes cops and two other officers, Charles Jones IV and Christopher Evans, in hot water.
The video shows an officer punching drug-using suspect David Nelson Flores in the head six times before tripping his pregnant girlfriend on the ground. She lands, belly first, onto the pavement.
The videotape shows Evans holding down the suspect’s legs. A burly undercover officer can be seen bear-hugging Flores, lying on his side on the asphalt parking lot. Flores has his hands pinned behind his back.
Jones can be heard yelling at Flores to, “Spit the drugs out! Spit the drugs out!”
When Flores fails to open his mouth, Jones punches him with a closed fist six times in the face.
The video shows the suspect’s head bouncing off the pavement as a result of the force.
Police say the excessive force was used to remove the drugs from Flores’ mouth and to protect another officer whose arm was caught under the suspect’s body.
What an effective tactic.
This photograph taken at the hospital shows the trauma to Flores’ head:
According to Frasier, a former cage fighter, the hits were “the hardest punches I have ever heard.”
From Fox 31:
We showed the video clip to Mark Carlson, a former Brighton detective sergeant hired to analyze this video for the drug suspect’s potential criminal case.
Carlson said, in his opinion, Jones used excessive force.
“There’s no obvious and immediate threat of a weapon,” Carlson said. “I just don’t see how either swallowing evidence or they’re worried about him choking is justifying that degree of force. I mean, you’re risking, ‘We don’t want you to choke, so we’re going to fracture your face instead?’”
When asked about injuring the pregnant woman, police say the officer believed she intended to kick him.
While Jones was punching Flores, the video captures the loud sounds of a woman screaming in Spanish for police to stop.
A few seconds later, a visibly pregnant woman approaches the area where the officers are on top of Flores. Jones reaches out and sweeps her feet out from under her.
It appears on video, the woman, 25-year-old Mayra Lazos-Guerrero, falls hard on her stomach and face.
Jones reported to a superior he thought the woman was going to kick him.
Lazos-Guerrero and Flores face charges of resisting arrest and two felony drug charges.
Mayra Lazos-Guerrero faced charges for obstruction, drugs and child abuse because there was a child in the car when this arrest went down. Guerrero was also allegedly caught with drug paraphernalia in her purse.
The FBI is now investigating the incident and the Denver Police Department’s response to it. You can watch Frasier’s account of events, as well as the disturbing video, in the clip above.
SOURCE: Fox 31 | VIDEO SOURCE: YouTube