NewsCovering Colorado


Colorado Springs pays $175K to settle lawsuit over officer's behavior toward BLM

Officer wrote "Kill them All" on social media post about Black Lives Matter Protest
Wrede post.jpg
Posted at 3:00 PM, Feb 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-03 21:50:15-05

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado — The City of Colorado Springs agreed to pay $175,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by a woman injured during Black Lives Matter protests in the Summer of 2020.

The attorney representing Celia Palmer said his client was tackled by officer Keith Wrede during a protest downtown in June. She suffered a concussion.

Wrede, using the pseudonym Steven Eric, later wrote the comment, "KILL EM ALL" on a Facebook post about a BLM protest on I-25.

Palmer did not participate in that protest. Attorney Andrew McNulty said he believes Wrede should not remain on the force in Colorado Springs.

"He clearly has some homicidal intent when it comes to peaceful protesters demonstrating in support of black lives and I just don't think he's fit to be a Colorado Springs Police Officer," McNulty said.

Police Chief Vince Niski announced in 2020 that Wrede had been reassigned and was suspended for a week without pay. However, McNulty said there was no internal investigation or discipline over the use of force by Wrede against his client.

"There's been no discipline imposed, to this day no one has been held accountable for what happened during those protests," McNulty said.

As part of the settlement, CSPD must update its policy and require officers to give clear warnings before using force to disperse a crowd.

Colorado Springs City Council created the Law Enforcement Transparency and Accountability Commission (LETAC) at around the same time as the protests to try and improve relationships between the police department and the public.

That board has not held any discussions related to the actions of Wrede.

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