COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Tuesday, the 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office dropped charges against a Black veteran who was hospitalized after an arrest by the Colorado Springs Police Department.
According to the attorneys of 29-year-old Dalvin Gadson, he was pulled over by officers during a traffic stop on Oct. 9, 2022. Gadson was reportedly pulled over for not having license plates on the back of his sedan.
After about 30 seconds of speaking to Gadson, body-worn camera footage showed officers trying to remove him from his car with force.
In the video obtained by 13 Investigates, officers are seen punching and kicking Gadson while he was refusing the exit the car. According to arresting documents, an officer claimed Gadson "kicked Officer Hummel in the chest area several times, while becoming more aggressive."
Gadson was arrested and 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, however, have since been dropped by the DA after Gadson paid a $15 fine for improperly displaying the license plates on his car.
His attorney's provided KRDO with the following statement regarding the dropped charges:
“By dropping the charges, the District Attorney has made it clear that these officers had no reason to detain Mr. Gadson for a DUI investigation much less beat him mercilessly and then smile for the cameras as he lay on the ground bleeding. In other words, this decision means that their actions weren’t just excessive. They were unlawful.
“Chief Adrian Vasquez said that Officers Colby J. Hickman, Matthew Anderson and Christopher K. Hummel did nothing wrong. But the reality is that they brutally beat Dalvin Gadson for a $15 fine and they should be investigated, arrested and prosecuted. Failing to do so puts lives at risk. Just ask Tyre Nichols’ family.”Harry M. Daniels LCC
A federal lawsuit has since been filed against the three Colorado Springs police officers.
KRDO reached out to CSPD to comment on the dismissal of charges. The department provided the following statement:
Today the criminal judicial process regarding Dalvin Gadson concluded. The Colorado Springs Police Department makes arrests based on the legal standard of probable cause. The 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office makes decisions regarding the prosecution of cases based on a different legal standard. The District Attorney’s Office makes their charging decisions regarding the prosecution of criminal cases independent of the Colorado Springs Police Department.
We will be publicly releasing the criminal case file based upon the legal standards established by Colorado law in the Colorado Criminal Justice Records Act. This release will occur within the next 24 hours on the same Cases of Interest web page where we previously released the probable cause affidavit and relevant body worn camera video.
Contrary to the statement from Mr. Gadson’s lawyer, Chief Vasquez did not say the involved officers “did nothing wrong”. Chief Vasquez has made no determination on the action of the involved officers. As we previously stated an internal investigation is occurring. This internal investigation is ongoing and it would be inappropriate for the Chief to make a statement prior to its conclusion.
CSPD will not have any additional comment on this incident due to the pending civil litigation.CSPD Spokesperson
CSPD also included the only press release the department has sent out regarding the incident. In it, Chief Adrian Vasquez said, “It is imperative that we look at all the facts when evaluating officer interactions with citizens. We will respect the on-going court process but welcome dialogue with our community when we are free to talk about this case further”
The Fourth Judicial District Attorney's Office also provided KRDO with a statement:
On January 30, 2023, Dalvin Gadson Ochoa entered a guilty plea to Unlawful Display of License Plates, a class B Traffic Infraction. Mr. Gadson Ochoa was ordered to pay a fine, surcharge and any court costs as determined by the court. All other charges were dismissed by the District Attorney’s Office. Rule 3.8(a) of the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct states that a prosecutor shall “refrain from prosecuting a charge that the prosecutor knows is not supported by probable cause.”
This incident remains under investigation by CSPD. Accordingly, further comment by the District Attorney’s Office would not be appropriate at this time.Office of the District Attorney
Fourth Judicial District of Colorado