Charges against Ryan Brown, a Colorado man arrested earlier this year for recording police, have been dropped.
Now the Colorado ACLU is demanding to see the internal affairs report to prepare for a possible lawsuit.
But the Colorado Springs Police Department, which cleared the officers of any wrongdoing in June, have been refusing to release details of its internal affairs investigation because the case was still pending.
However, they are no longer able to use that excuse.
On March 25, 2015, Ryan was arrested along with his brother, Benjamin Brown, after they were stopped by the Colorado Springs Police Department because of a perceived window tint violation and a cracked wind shield within a high crime area, the police report states.
Ryan was arrested on a charge of interfering with official police duties after he tried to record the stop as PINAC reported earlier this year.
Last week, the Colorado ACLU released the following statement:
Brown filed a complaint with the department following the incident in March. He received a brief boilerplate letter in June informing him that police had conducted a “complete and thorough” investigation into the incident and concluded that the officers’ conduct was “justified, legal, and proper.” A subsequent ACLU records request for the internal affairs file was denied due to the pending criminal charge against Brown.
“Now that the criminal charge has been rightly dismissed, there are no more excuses for denying the internal affairs records,” said ACLU of Colorado Legal Director Mark Silverstein. “The public has a right to know how the Colorado Springs Police Department determined that it was ‘justified, legal, and proper’ to remove two African-American men from a car at gunpoint and taser point, handcuff them, search them and detain them, over a cracked windshield.”
Ryan and Benjamin Brown were driving just a block away from their home when they were pulled over by Colorado Springs police. After a taser-wielding officer ordered Benjamin Brown, the driver, out of the car, he was handcuffed, searched without cause, and detained in the back of a police vehicle, even though he had been cooperative, no weapons or contraband were found, and there was no evidence to suggest that he had been involved in a crime.
Ryan Brown then began recording the scene on his phone. His repeated requests for the officers to identify the reason for the stop were ignored. Officers worked together to force him out of the car, push him to the ground, face down in the snow, search him, and cuff him, all the while at gunpoint.
While dragging Ryan Brown out of the car, officers on the video are heard saying that he is not under arrest and that they were just checking him for weapons. No weapons were found. Officers took his phone, turned off the video, and threw it in the snow.
Colorado Springs police officer Dave Nelson demanded Ryan’s identification after he started recording, even though he was the passenger in the car. But Ryan invoked and refused to waive his Fourth Amendment right to protection against unlawful search and seizure.
But Nelson and the other officers on the scene were too hell bent on violating the Constitutional rights of an American citizen.
Nelson opened the passenger side door and pulled Ryan out of the vehicle, throwing him to the ground and pushing his face into the cold, Colorado snow – all while another officer had a gun pointed directly at Ryan.
Nelson then snatched Ryan’s phone, and turned the video off, which is a clear violation of the Fourteenth Amendment, which protects American citizens from being deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Nelson’s actions were also a violation of Ryan’s First Amendment right, which gives Ryan the right to video record in public.
The officer with the gun drawn treated Ryan as a lethal threat. Since when has peacefully invoking your rights afforded to you by the United States Constitution been perceived as a lethal threat?
Despite the obvious Constitutional violations, the Colorado Springs Police Department cleared the officers involved of any wrong doing.
Readers please be advised that even if officers are cleared of any wrong doing by their department, you, the citizen, can still file a lawsuit against the officers involved and the police department.