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District Attorney drops criminal charges against man beaten during traffic stop

Dalvin Gadson
Posted at 2:58 PM, Jan 31, 2023

COLORADO SPRINGS — The attorneys for Dalvin Gadson, the 29-year-old man who was injured during an October traffic stop in Colorado Springs, announced that the District Attorney has dropped criminal charges against Gadson.

The incident took place on Oct. 9, 2022, when Gadson was pulled over for having no license plates and was suspected to be driving under the influence.

Gadson's lawyers have filed a federal lawsuit against the three CSPD officers involved in the traffic stop. According to the lawsuit, the lawyers claim the officers did not follow the department's use of force policy and should have given a clear verbal warning of their intent to use force against Gadson. The lawsuit names officers Colby Hickman, Matthew Anderson, and Christopher Hummel.

The suit alleges they "deliberately, knowingly, intentionally, and violently" beat Gadson during a traffic stop on Oct. 9. The suit also claims Officer Anderson hit Gadson 20 times over the head with a closed fist.

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.

According to his attorneys, Gadson paid a $15 fine for not properly displaying his license plates.

"We're happy that the DA looked at the facts and the evidence in this case and law and came to the same conclusion that we came to," said Harry Daniels, one of Gadson's lawyers.

Read the full statement below:

By dropping the charges, the District Attorney has made it clear that these officers had no reason to detain Mr. Gadson for a DUI investigation, much less beat him mercilessly and then smile for the cameras as he lay on the ground bleeding. In other words, this decision means that their actions weren’t just excessive. They were unlawful. 

Chief Adrian Vasquez said that Officers Colby J. Hickman, Matthew Anderson and Christopher K. Hummel did nothing wrong. But the reality is that they brutally beat Dalvin Gadson for a $15 fine and they should be investigated, arrested and prosecuted. Failing to do so puts lives at risk. Just ask Tyre Nichols’ family.

Back in December After an administrative review by the chain of command at CSPD, it was determined the officers' use of force was within department policy. However, an online complaint with internal affairs was filed in this case and that investigation is still open at this time.

In a statement from the Colorado Springs Police Department Tuesday they said, "Contrary to the statement from Mr. Gadson’s lawyer, Chief Vasquez did not say the involved officers 'did nothing wrong'," says Lt. Castro.

According to the department Chief Vasquez has made no determination on the actions of the involved officers. An internal investigation into the officer's actions is still ongoing.

Gadson's Attorneys are asking for an independent criminal investigation and for criminal charges to be filed against the officers involved in the traffic stop.

Natasha Powers is a retired police officer and use of force expert who weighed in after watching the video.

“This incident went from zero to average-everyday-contact-for-registration-violation, to a use of force where this man afterward, and it's clear on the video, suffered injury,” said Powers.

Powers says Gadson appears confused and also questioned officers about the arrest. She said officers did not give Gadson an explanation as to why he was being detained for investigation of a DUI.

“It was simply, ‘get out of the car. You're under arrest for DUI.’ That makes no sense at all,” said Powers. “And this particular driver had every right to ask him questions with regard to, ‘why am I being arrested? What did I do?’”

News5 also asked Powers if she believes all three officers used excessive use of force, to which she responded, “I would say on the initial observation, it would be all three of them. Majority of the time, the cops get it right. In this particular situation, I really think they did not get it right, and I think they failed in their jobs.”

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