NewsCovering Colorado


Federal investigators looking into Colorado Springs Police beating of Black driver

Posted at 1:22 PM, Oct 09, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-09 17:32:45-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — Federal investigators are working to determine whether Colorado Springs Police acted criminally during the traffic stop of an unarmed Black driver last year. The Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division director referred the case to its criminal division based on allegations that officers racially profiled Dalvin Gadson during a traffic stop.

Body camera video taken October 9, 2022 documents Colorado Springs officer Colby Hickman pulling over Gadson, 30, for failing to display a license plate. The stop quickly turned physical when Gadson refused to be handcuffed for suspicion of driving under the influence.

Two other Colorado Springs Police officers, Matthew Anderson and Christopher Hummel arrived minutes after the stop to back up Hickman, and are also caught on the video beating and kicking Gadson.

All three officers are white and Gadson is Black.

Gadson survived the encounter. He was treated in the hospital for a black eye, back injuries, chest wall contusions, and cuts to his head and face, according to his attorneys. They also say the incident has reaggravated preexisting injuries and the Army veteran has suffered long-term emotional trauma from the event.

An internal Colorado Springs police investigation found the officers acted within the department's policies.

But in December 2022, Gadson's attorneys filed a federal lawsuit, claiming Gadson's constitutional rights were violated. They cite the department's Use of Force policy which requires officers to give verbal warning before using force.

The Department of Justice has referred the case for investigation to determine whether Gadson was racially profiled and if the officers are guilty of misconduct in office for using excessive force.

Colorado Springs Police say all three officers are on active duty however, it declined to comment on the referral of the case to the Department of Justice's criminal division.

Editor's Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly indicated the department was under federal criminal investigation.

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