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'I don't feel safe in Colorado': Man injured in arrest in Colorado Springs calls for accountability

The Colorado Springs Police Department said the arrest was "within policy" following an administrative review. Dalvin Gadson's attorneys calls the encounter "criminal."
Man injured in arrest says Colorado Springs police officers should be held accountable
Posted at 10:58 AM, Dec 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-21 14:21:14-05

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The man injured during a traffic stop with Colorado Springs police is calling for accountability and an investigation into the officers' actions.

"I don't feel safe in Colorado. It's hard to go to sleep," Dalvin Gadson told Denver7. "I have headaches every night, and it seems like they're getting worse and worse."

Last week, Gadson's attorney, Harry Daniels, made a public call for an investigation into the Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) following officers' encounter with Gadson on Oct. 9.

Gadson's attorney announced a federal lawsuit against CSPD on Wednesday. Read the full lawsuit below:

Gadson, an Army veteran, said before the encounter, he had found purpose in Colorado despite being homeless and living out of his car.

"I was taking all my money from DoorDash, literally, and putting it into my business," Gadson said. "I had a great sense of life and love. My soul loved it out here. This was like paradise to me, literally."

Those sentiments changed after his encounter with CSPD, according to Gadson.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Gadson was pulled over for going 15 miles per hour in a 45 mile per hour zone.

Body camera video shows officers noticed a knife in Gadson's cupholder after pulling him over. Officers are heard describing an odor of cannabis coming from Gadson's vehicle and decide to conduct a DUI investigation.

The video captures the moments the encounter escalates after officers ask Gadson to exit the vehicle.

"It turned into the worst nightmare I could ever imagine," Gadson told Denver7.

Body camera video from multiple officers shows the incident from several angles. Officers can be seen throwing punches towards Gadson while he's inside the car.

CSPD released a statement saying the officers' use of force was found to be within policy.

"When officers attempted to pull Mr. Gadson from the vehicle he physically fought with officers and on more than one instance re-entered the vehicle in the area of the knife," the statement reads in part.

Daniels said Gadson suffered eye injuries, a ruptured eardrum and PTSD after the incident. In the video, after Gadson is handcuffed, he can be seen lying on the pavement in a pool of blood with visible facial injuries.

"So you have to understand, if you've ever been punched in the eye multiple times, it literally sends you unconscious. You can't see. You can't hear for some reason," Gadson said. "I'm looking at my blood on the asphalt and I felt the punches in my face."

"Sometimes, I just cry watching (the body camera video). I had to watch it alone. I have to watch it alone with nobody watching me because it is heartbreaking to even know that that was me," Gadson added.

CSPD said its internal affairs division has an open investigation into the arrest, which remains ongoing. Misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest are still being pursued against Gadson.

In an interview with Denver7, Daniels pushed back on the police department's claims about the knife and the misdemeanor charges.

"If you look at the video, Dalvin is laying on that cupholder. He's lying on that panel with the knife," the attorney said. "If somebody is beating the hell out of you, I would hope you try to stop them beating the hell out of you. And I mean, try and stop and cover up. That's not resistant, that's what we call survival."

"I don't feel like anybody is strong enough to take care of my family. I don't feel like I could defend my family in a world like this with savages who are supposed to be peaceful." Gadson said, fighting back tears.

One of the officers involved in Gadson's arrest, Matthew Anderson, was named in a federal civil rights complaint back in 2020, but the case was dismissed in 2021.

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