The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is investigating an alleged incident of police brutality after video surfaced that appears to show Denver police repeatedly punching an unarmed man, then tripping his pregnant girlfriend, then attempting to delete the video of the incident that was recorded by a passerby, KDVR is reporting.
The incident in question took place on August 14 at a parking lot in Denver, according to WDAF. As a passerby records the incident on his electronic device — police unaware at first — several Denver police officers swarm suspected drug dealer David Flores. Flores had allegedly stuffed a sock containing heroin into his mouth, and police repeatedly shout at him to spit the drugs out, while one officer punches him in the head at least six times. Seconds later, Flores’ seven-months-pregnant girlfriend, Myra Lazos-Guerrero, 25, approaches the officers, then one of them appears to kick her, causing her to fall face-first on the ground.
Unbeknownst to Denver police at the time, passerby Levi Frasier was recording the incident on his mobile device.
Video of the incident is posted below, but be warned, it’s graphic and disturbing.
Frasier alleges that once the officers became aware that they were being recorded, one of them came to him and snatched his mobile device and deleted the footage before returning his device to him. Frasier says that some time later, he remembered that he had synced his mobile device to a cloud storage account, meaning that the video was still available to him. He has since shared his video with the media.
“Those were the hardest punches I have ever heard. I’ve seen some people get punched in the ring and on TV and whatnot, but the sound of those resonating, I mean, it was scary. I’ve never heard anything louder than that and I used to cage fight for quite a while and I’ve never seen punches harder than that.”
According to KDVR, the Denver Police Department conducted its own investigation into the incident, and concluded that the officers did nothing wrong.
The FBI, however, has begun conducting its own investigation into the incident. Their investigation will focus on two issues.
- Did officers use excessive force during the arrest of the suspected drug dealer?
- Did officers violate Frasier’s Constitutional rights by searching his mobile device, and deleting footage, without his consent?
As of this post, the Denver Police Department has not responded to requests from the media to comment on the FBI investigation.
[Image courtesy of: Vice]