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Federal lawsuit filed against 3 Colorado Springs Police officers after veteran hospitalized following arrest

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Attorneys for a Colorado Springs veteran who ended up in the hospital after an interaction with police filed a federal excessive force lawsuit against three officers with the Colorado Springs Police Department.

According to attorneys, 29-year-old Dalvin Gadson, who was homeless at the time was stopped by officers during a traffic stop on Oct. 9, 2022.

In bodycam footage obtained by 13 Investigates, two officers are seen punching and kicking Gadson while he was refusing the exit the car.

An officer claimed Gadson "kicked Officer Hummel in the chest area several times, while becoming more aggressive." Gadson was reportedly pulled over for an issue with his license plate on the back of his sedan, and was driving 15 MPH in a 45 MPH zone.

Once pulled over, the officers stated they observed Gadson exhibiting "slurred speech." One officer stated they "observed a knife" in the center console area of his car, according to court documents.

According to the federal lawsuit obtained by 13 Investigates, the defendants are Ofc. Colby Hickman, Ofc. Matthew Anderson, and Ofc. Christopher K. Hummel.

The lawsuit claims that the three officers involved in the arrest violated Colorado Springs Police Department policy by not informing Gadson of their intent to use force.

"Prior to using force, an officer shall identify himself or herself as a peace officer. The officer shall give a clear verbal warning of their intent to use force," the suit sites directly from the CSPD Use of Force policy.

However, CSPD said Gadson "physically fought with officers and on more than one instance re-entered the vehicle in the area of the knife."

The lawsuit states Gadson suffered head and back injuries, and still suffers "ongoing emotional distress, with significant PTSD type symptoms, including sadness, anxiety, stress, anger, depression, frustration, sleeplessness, nightmares and flashbacks from his assault."

“You don’t have thoughts when that is happening. You are trying to survive,” Gadson said flanked by his attorneys during a press conference announcing the federal lawsuit Wednesday.  “I’m scared of all these police officers at this moment because I feel like they all are in collaboration with those three who hurt me. Until they are suspended, I will not feel safe in Colorado Springs.”

The federal lawsuit does not provide the dollar amount they are seeking. However, at Wednesday's presser Gadson's attorneys called for justice, accountability and reform within CSPD.

“Ask yourself how that could be justified?" asked Gadson's attorney Kevin Mehr. "How is there a police tactic of punching Mr. Gadson in the head 30 times repeatedly and how can any police officer ever kicking someone in the face be a justified police tactic?"

According to the department, on Oct. 14, Internal Affairs received an online complaint regarding the arrest. As of now, CSPD states the investigation is still open.

Additionally, CSPD said an administrative review of the officer's use of force was also conducted by the chain of command and was found to be within policy.

“It’s not that Mr. Gadson was a black man that was beaten. It’s the fact that Mr. Gadson was a black man and a black veteran that they beat," Bakari Sellers, a Civil Rights attorney, said Wednesday. "This is a community that loves, and serves and upholds its veterans, or at least we thought.” 

The Colorado Springs Police Department declined to comment following Wednesday's press conference due to pending litigation.

Gadson is still facing multiple charges stemming from this arrest including driving under the influence and resisting arrest. However, two counts of assaulting a peace officer were dismissed.

Gadson's attorney told 13 Investigates additional lawsuits could be filed in this case, either against the city of Colorado Springs or the Colorado Springs Police Department itself.

Watch the press conference below:

Read the lawsuit below:

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Dan Beedie


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