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City of Colorado Springs approves $2.1 million settlement in use-of-force lawsuit with police

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) - On Tuesday, Colorado Springs City Council approved a settlement of $2.1 million in an ongoing use of force lawsuit between a man who alleges he was severely beaten, using excessive force by officers from the Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD).

The City Council voted to approve the settlement with 7 yes votes, to one no vote, and one absent vote.

The City of Colorado Springs tells KRDO13 that once the case is officially settled, the City would plan to pay its deductible of $1 million from its claims reserve fund, and the remaining will be paid by its excess insurance carrier.

The settlement comes after 29-year-old Dalvin Gadson was pulled over for failing to display a license plate, and speeding on October 9, 2022. Once speaking with Gadson, officers suspected he had been driving under the influence due to the smell of marijuana, and the slurring of his words.

The situation escalated into a struggle between Gadson and multiple officers, after failing to exit his car upon being told to do so. Gadson was eventually pulled out of the car and to the ground, becoming bloodied and bruised in the process of being arrested.

As a result of the altercation, Gadson was charged with two counts of Second Degree Assault on a Police Officer, Resisting Arrest, Obstructing a Peace Officer, Driving Under the Influence, and Driving Without License Plates. Those charges were dropped however later on by the 4th Judicial District Attorney's office in January of 2023, and Gadson only had to pay $15 for the missing license plate infraction.

The 29-year-old was hospitalized that night due to the severity of his injuries, which prompted a civil lawsuit against CSPD, alleging there was excessive force used against him by the three officers involved in the traffic stop and arrest.

An internal review by CSPD, which was released in August of 2023, laid out whether the claims against Officers Colby Hickman, Christopher Hummel, and Matthew Anderson for excessive force, were found to be valid or not by department standards.

Ultimately, CSPD found in that report that the officers weren't out of line in their use of force, but did violate department policy in how they handled Mr. Gadson during the arrest. More on the internal review can be found here.

Colorado Springs Police told KRDO13 on Tuesday that they did not have a comment on the lawsuit, but said that all three officers were still employed with the department, and were in good standing.

Gadson's attorneys provided the following statement regarding the settlement on Tuesday:

This settlement should stand as a warning to all those who think their badges entitle them to brutalize the men and women they’ve sworn to protect and serve. You are not above the law and if your own department refuses to hold you accountable, we will.

Let’s be clear. This is an important day for Dalvin Gadson and for all the people of Colorado Springs. But that doesn’t mean the fight is done. We will continue working with the Department of Justice in their investigation and we will not stop until justice is done.

This kind of violence is unacceptable whether it happens in Camden County Georgia or Colorado Springs. The American people won’t stand for it.

Attorneys for Dalvin Gadson
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Tyler Cunnington

Tyler is a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about him here.


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