Fellow cop says officer may have escalated Springs stop
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A police officer told investigators that a colleague may have escalated a traffic stop of two African-American men that gained national attention through YouTube by putting one of the men on the ground.
According to documents from the review of the March 25 traffic stop obtained by The Gazette newspaper (http://bit.ly/1Lb1kFt ) and the American Civil Liberties Union, that police officer and two other witnesses also criticized Ryan Brown, 31, for making the situation worse by not cooperating with Officer David Nelson who pulled Brown and his brother Benjamin Brown over for having a cracked windshield.
A roughly two-minute video that Ryan Brown posted online shows his brother being frisked outside the car and then Nelson later apparently pushing Ryan Brown to ground during the stop, which the American Civil Liberties Union called an example of racial profiling. Police previously cleared Nelson without providing any details about why.
Nelson told an internal affairs investigator that he did pull Brown to the ground in a wrist lock after he tried to pull Brown out of the passenger’s seat and Brown pulled back a bit. While Brown was in the car, Nelson said wouldn’t show his hands and he feared he might be armed.
Officer Allison Detwiler told investigators that she told Brown “a couple of times” that he was not under arrest and was going to be patted down for weapons before he was pulled from the car. She said she thought Brown “brought a lot of problems on himself by being uncooperative. However, she said also she thought the situation could have been handled without Brown being taken to the ground and said Nelson had a reputation for being “super excitable” and escalating situations.
A woman on a ride-a-long in Detwiler’s cruiser told investigators that she thought the situation could have been avoided if Brown had cooperated.
Brown said Friday that he did not want to comment on the document because he has not reviewed them yet.
Mark Silverstein, legal director of ACLU of Colorado, which is representing Brown, was struck most by what he said was not included in the investigation. Even though Nelson admitted the cracked windshield was just a pretext for pulling over a car he wanted to search because it seemed suspicious, he said Nelson was not pressed on why he thought that would be justified.
“I think this all too quick ratification of the officers’ actions certainly prompts suspicion that what happened that day is considered business as usual and that there may be many other cases with similar actions that don’t come to public’s attention because there was no video recording,” he said.
Information from: The Gazette, http://www.gazette.com