A newly released video shows a Colorado Springs police officer brutally throwing a handcuffed 18-year-old woman to the hospital floor, smashing her face against the Memorial Hospital floor in 2013.
So hard that it knocked her teeth out.
The video will be part of a lawsuit that is being prepared on behalf of the woman against the department.
In the video, Officer Tyler Walker, 29 at the time, is seen shoving the handcuffed woman, 18-year-old Alexis Acker, into a chair by hitting her in the stomach. Acker then kicks at the officer, likely because he just assaulted her and had no other means to defend herself. The officer is then seen immediately slamming the teen face first onto a hospital floor while she was handcuffed- knocking out two of her teeth.
One of two conflicting police reports obtained by the Colorado Springs Independent regarding the incident states that the officer “escorted her to the floor,” while the second one claims that he “rolled her … to the floor.”
The video that the publication obtained tells an entirely different story than either version in the police reports.
Aside from having two teeth knocked out, Acker suffered trauma to the face, head, teeth and jaw; migraine headaches, concussion, closed head injuries, memory and cognitive function problems, as well as post traumatic stress disorder.
The incident took place after police were dispatched to Acker’s apartment after a report involving a gun. Acker was reportedly “intoxicated and verbally uncooperative with police,” and became “physically combative” when her boyfriend was arrested for outstanding warrants. The officers claimed that she was kicking at them and had to be pinned to a sofa. She was arrested on charges which included resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer.
Before being taken to the department to be booked, Acker was taken to the hospital for “medical clearance due to her intoxication level and combative nature,” Walker claimed in his report. The officer alleges that Acker “remained verbally aggressive, continually yelling obscenities towards police and my personal life. … She yelled statements such as, ‘I hope you and your wife can never have any children … because you’re a stupid fucking cop.'”
Perhaps his feelings being hurt had something to do with the level of force used when he shoved the teenage girl, who reportedly weighed roughly 110 pounds, down into her chair.
The officer claims that after he got her in the chair she kicked him in the groin, and that is when he smashed her face into the ground.
At this point, the Independent points out that the reports become a bit conflicting.
Walker’s supervisor, Sgt. Mary Walsh, who was allegedly also kicked by the teenager in the apartment, but was not present for the hospital assault wrote that the force the officer used was necessary and justified- despite not being there. Her report stated that the officer “rolled her out of the chair to the floor” — his “only means to control her.”
Meanwhile, Officer Anthony Carey, who also wasn’t there for the assault, wrote that Walker “escorted Ms. Acker to the floor,” like he had just helped an elderly woman cross the street or committed some sort of gentle and kind act.
The officer’s account was shockingly the one that seems the closest to being honest.
Walker claimed that he felt “immediate pain” and “forcefully threw Ms. Acker … face down on the ground,” and pinned her.
“It was then evident that I had caused her injury and knocked out her front tooth while throwing her on to the hard linoleum hospital floor, while her hands [were] still handcuffed behind her back,” Walker writes.
Walker claimed that once his adrenaline from the incident wore off, he began to feel pain in his left knee. He then filed a Preliminary Accident Form and a Response to Aggression Form claiming that he hurt himself while assaulting the young girl.
Acker, broken toothed and bloodied, was hit with five charges, two of which were felony assaults on a police officer. The teenager eventually pleaded guilty to misdemeanor obstruction of a police officer and felony menacing. The sentence of the felony was deferred, however.
The officer remains employed to this day with the Colorado Springs Police Department. It is unclear, but seems unlikely, that he received any punishment for the assault.
“The video is part of civil litigation and an internal investigation therefore I am unable to provide comment.,” Colorado Springs Police Department spokesperson Lt. Catherine Buckley said in the statement regarding the incident. “Officer Walker is employed with the Colorado Springs Police Department.”
A “notice of claim” letter was filed with the city in May stating that Acker is seeking $500,000 in damages from the attack.
“This is a very violent attack on someone who is in handcuffs, who is partially restrained and tiny, and there’s just no need for it,” Cindy Hyatt, Acker’s criminal attorney told the Independent. “You can’t have something like this, whether it happens 100 times, 10 times or one time. It’s unacceptable. It cannot be tolerated. As a patrol officer in particular, that’s part of the job, dealing with that without planting someone’s face in the floor.”