Recently, there have been many cases in the news regarding the use of excessive force among police officers. A Northern Colorado incident even made national headlines after a drunk woman was thrown to the ground by a Fort Collins police officer. The officer in that case was not found at fault, but a Denver Sheriff deputy is facing criminal charges for his use of force with an inmate. The deputy is facing 3rd Degree Assault charges for taking an inmate to the ground while in the elevator. Apparently, the inmate was wearing a spit hood and handcuffs at the time, and the two other deputies present. The inmate claimed that he had wrist pain after the incident, and unjustified physical contact causing pain is most often charged as Assault in the Third Degree is Fort Collins, Loveland and Estes Park.
Larimer County Third Degree Assault Attorney: What is Excessive Force in Fort Collins, Colorado?
There are a number of provisions in Larimer, Boulder, and Grand County, allowing a peace officer to use physical force against someone – C.R.S. 18-1-707:
- To arrest someone
- To prevent an escape
- To defend him or herself or a third party
C.R.S. 18-8-803 addresses the Use of Excessive Force:
Basically, when the force an officer uses is not justifiable under C.R.S. 18-1-707, then the officer is subject to criminal charges. For the situation above, the man had already been arrested and was detained in handcuffs. He was in a closed elevator, so escape doesn’t seem to be an issue. There were three officers present and the other officers didn’t get involved, which they would have if the inmate was putting them in danger – so the officer’s actions do not meet the criteria for appropriate physical force.
Sheriff Deputy Third Degree Assault in Fort Collins and Loveland
The Colorado law definition of Third Degree Assault – C.R.S. 18-3-204(1)(a) – is:
(a) The person knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another person or with criminal negligence the person causes bodily injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon
Because the inmate sustained a wrist injury, the 3rd Degree Assault statute applies.
If you or a loved one has been charged with Third Degree Assault, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and contact the best criminal defense attorneys from the O’Malley Law Office at 970-658-0007 today. Together, we can protect your future.
Image Source: Pixabay-nakataza02