An excessive-force lawsuit against the Aurora Police Department by a Hispanic man who was handcuffed and thrown to the ground when officers responded to a noise complaint has been settled for $285,000.
The ACLU of Colorado announced Thursday the settlement, on behalf of Jamie Alberto Torres Soto, in a news release.
Torres, in November of 2016, was “illegally ordered out of his home and unjustifiably beaten” by police, according to the release.
“While the size of Mr. Torres’ settlement suggests the significance of the wrongdoing in this case, it does not begin to serve justice,” said Mark Silverstein , ACLU of Colorado legal director, in the release. “To this day, Mr. Torres suffers physically and emotionally from that incident, and racialized police violence in Aurora has continued unabated.”
The release mentions Elijah McClain, among others, as additional alleged examples of excessive force against people of color.
Torres was working on the muffler on a car in a garage after midnight when the incident happened. He delayed leaving the garage, at the order of Officer Ethan Yazdani, so he could call his wife who speaks English. When Torres left the garage with his hands up, he was handcuffed and slammed to the ground. Torres was charged with resisting arrest; he was acquitted by a jury.
“Aurora police have used pepper spray, police dogs, Tasers and other weapons and force against Black and Latino people disproportionately to white people,” the release said. “The ACLU complaint identified 13 incidents in which Aurora police have subjected people of color to unjustified violence, brutality, detention, and arrest even in cases when the victim was only suspected of a minor infraction.”
Mari Newman, an ACLU cooperating attorney, said: “Mr. Torres was abused by Aurora police when he was beaten and again when they tried to silence him and cover up their wrongdoing. In order to address the Aurora PD’s epidemic of violence against communities of color we must continue to hold them accountable.”
Aurora police referred a request for comment on the settlement to city officials.
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