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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