Video has surfaced showing an officer with the Colorado Springs Police Department dragging a man out of a vehicle during an apparent “cracked windshield” stop, after refusing to identify himself or address the reason the car was pulled over.
The footage, recorded by passenger Ryan Brown, begins by showing the driver of the car, his brother Benjamin Brown, being placed in handcuffs after a March 25 traffic stop in Colorado Springs.
Benjamin Brown was ordered by police to exit the vehicle at Taser-point, before being handcuffed, searched, held in the back of a police car, and finally issued a citation for an obstructed view, The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado said Tuesday.
Ryan Brown, the passenger, was dragged from the car, held at gunpoint, and now faces a criminal charge for “interfering with official police duties,” the group said.
The footage shows officers repeatedly ignore Ryan Brown’s requests to say why the car had been stopped before the man is drug from his passenger seat, pulled to the ground, and detained.
“Why are you pulling me out of the car?” Brown can be heard saying. “I have not did nothing, I have no weapons. You have no reason to pull me out of the car, this is assault.”
As Brown is taken to the ground he looks into his recording device and asks, “Do you see this? Excessive force,” before the unidentified officer can be seen slapping the device out of his hand.
Watch the raw footage:
The ACLU of Colorado contends the incident was a product of racial profiling, and took place within a block of the brothers’ home beginning over an apparent cracked windshield.
The group will be representing the two African-American men in Colorado Springs Municipal Court.
“What Ryan and Benjamin Brown experienced at the hands of the Colorado Springs police is sadly all too familiar for young people of color,” ACLU of Colorado Legal Director Mark Silverstein said. “No reasonable person could watch the video recording of the traffic stop and say that two white men would have been treated the same way.”
ACLU of Colorado cooperating attorney Dan Recht, who will be representing the Browns, says the video recording proves Ryan Brown did not obstruct justice.
“As the video clearly shows, he acted calmly and like a gentleman, even in the face of an unjust stop. There was no justice for him to obstruct,” Recht said.
The Colorado Springs Police Department has offered no comment on the incident.