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Lawsuit filed against Colorado Springs police officer claims constitutional rights were violated

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.- The city of Colorado Springs and one of its police officers are now defendants in a new lawsuit.

The suit was filed Tuesday by Michael Sexton and his attorney Andy McNulty. They claim in June 2019 an officer violated Sexton's first amendment rights in a clear act of retaliation for flipping off the officer minutes before but the officer says he detained Sexton because he was jaywalking.

"The officer responded by running up on him arresting him, roughing him up," McNulty told us in a Skype interview, "It shows just how short-fused that officer was."

In the body camera footage worn by the defendant officer Matthew Anderson the night of the incident, you can hear Anderson ask Sexton about the gesture. By the end of the nearly 15-minute video, Sexton can be seen walking away but with a citation.

"It's pretty clear that the officer was just using jaywalking as a pretext to harass Mr. Sexton and to rough him up," McNulty says.

While CSPD has faced similar lawsuits before, other attorneys we spoke with say they don't think there is a case here. They tell us Sexton's first amendment rights weren't violated at all because he was released and not cited for the gesture.

KRDO reached out to both the City and CSPD for comment but officials tell us they can not comment on pending litigation.

Crime / El Paso County Crime / Local News / News

Chase Golightly

Chase is a reporter and an anchor for our weekend evening newscasts. Learn more about Chase here.

Comments

14 Comments

  1. sounds like his attorney is an upstanding person….lol… Why do we allow people to behave this way and use the guise of freedom of speech? This isn’t freedom of speech if it was a police officer doing this to someone then they would demand his head but citizens are encouraged, since the obama era, to treat police with hostility. Our society is crumbling and leaches like this are taking us down. Hopefully this suit will be dropped.

    1. Or maybe the cops in C.S.P.D. will start to understand they are hired to enforce the existing laws not misquote laws and do what ever they please…..they are not judge ,jury, and executioner.

      1. yea not power-hungry prima donnas.
        Vindictiveness is not a reason to give a ticket.
        I would say that the cop needs to get off his high horse and get over himself.
        Everybody poops.

      2. Sounds like the Officer was doing exactly what you want him to do, UPHOLDING the law. Was the guy J-Walking – YES. Did the Officer Cite him for J-Walking – YES. He didn’t misquote the law. He didn’t Judge the J-Walker. He didn’t sentence the J-Walker. Sounds like you need to understand just what their (C.S.P.D) JOB is… The fact that the J-Walker was a jerk, in no way gives him SPECIAL PRIVILEGES…

  2. I also think that some cops think they deserve to have their rings kissed too. They are civil servants. Give them a contract as a taxpayer master to GO away. If they do not have a personal form of ID their badge number and a BUSINESS CARD-they are OUT OF UNIFORM ( costume) and not able to hide under the color of law. Some cops are just hot heads . The cop should have taken the high road and walked away. Aren’t they supposed to have a higher standard?

  3. Flipping the cop off gave the cop a reason to watch the idiot. The idiot jaywalking was just plain stupidity on the idiot. For some reason flipping off a cop is freedom of speech but flipping a person off that is not a cop is disorderly conduct.

      1. Find a Lawyer Ask a Lawyer Research the Law Law Schools Laws & Regs Newsletters Legal Marketing
        Justia US Law US Codes and Statutes Colorado Revised Statutes 2016 Colorado Revised Statutes Title 18 – Criminal Code Article 9 – Offenses Against Public Peace, Order, and Decency Part 1 – Public Peace and Order § 18-9-106. Disorderly conduct
        View the 2018 Colorado Revised Statutes | View Other Versions of the Colorado Revised Statutes
        2016 Colorado Revised Statutes
        Title 18 – Criminal Code
        Article 9 – Offenses Against Public Peace, Order, and Decency
        Part 1 – Public Peace and Order
        § 18-9-106. Disorderly conduct
        Universal Citation: CO Rev Stat § 18-9-106 (2016)
        (1) A person commits disorderly conduct if he or she intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly:

        (a) Makes a coarse and obviously offensive utterance, gesture, or display in a public place and the utterance, gesture, or display tends to incite an immediate breach of the peace; or

  4. don’t get it…why a lawsuit…If someone flipped me off…I would have done the same thing the cop did…that just good ol fashion manning the F up….Kudos to the police for supporting manleyism

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