Colorado Cops Brutally Beat Tattoo Artist, Lawsuit Follows

Newly-released surveillance video shows a tattoo artist, David Martinez, being punched and pummeled by police officers in Westminster, Colorado, on Aug. 10, 2016.

Martinez has filed a federal lawsuit against Sgt. Steven Holton and Det. Ben Russell of the Westminster Police Department and North Metro Drug Task Force for allegedly using excessive force, notes The Denver Post.

According to the lawsuit, the police were serving Martinez with an arrest warrant when Holton, dressed in jeans and a T-shirt, “neck punched” Martinez who was smoking a cigar behind his tattoo shop.

Westminster police spokeswoman Cheri Spottke said the department investigated its own cops and cleared the officers of wrongdoing.

Spottke admitted that investigators did not have the surveillance video: “We will be happy to review the video and see if it makes a difference.”

At this point, however, it makes little difference what the police department thinks as the case will be decided in federal court.


The lawsuit states that Holton assaulted Martinez without provocation, before ordering Martinez to do anything and with no notice that he was a police officer:

Sgt. Holton first stiff-armed Mr. Martinez in the throat and then began viciously punching Mr. Martinez in the face and head. Det. Russell then joined in the melee and assisted in assaulting a man who had not refused a single order or command prior to being throat-punched.

The lawsuit claims Holton was “viciously pummeling” Martinez in the face and repeatedly slamming Martinez’s head against a cement wall.

It’s not clear what the arrest warrant was for or if Martinez was charged with any crimes.


(Source: The Denver Post)

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Comment (1)

  1. gee what warrant ,no warrant was ever produced that day or even that week ,and this business is strictly engaged in tattooing ,tattoo supplies and body piercing and is fully licensed ,and any contract artist caught under the influence at work is sent home ,rumor on the streets is one of the violent criminals with badges has a relative who was run out of the shop ,a heroine addict ,so not sure what the junkie claimed or if just the cops retaliating for their heroine addict relative getting thrown out of the shop ,seriously doubt that will ever come to light in the federal court hearings , gee do they do this same terrorist behavior in every medical facility they raid ? no badges shown ,no verbal identification they are cops and no warrant either ,and not one illegal item on premise ,not even on the independent contractors that get all earnings reported on 1099 irs forms ,the artist and piercers rent the chairs for a percentage of total fees charged for a tattoo or body piercing


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