U.S. Dept of Justice Wants to Probe Colorado Beating of Black Vet at Traffic Stop

The Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building in Washington, D.C., headquarters of the United States Department of Justice. Photographed by w:User:Coolcaesar on August 12, 2006

By The Vanguard Staff

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – The U.S. Dept. of Justice is interested in opening its own investigation of a traffic stop beating of a Black veteran by Colorado Springs police a year ago.

According to reporting by The Root, Dalvin Gadson was pulled over by Officer Matthew Anderson for “driving under the speed limit and having no license plate displayed” in October 2022.

However, according to a subsequent lawsuit by Gadson, the body camera footage shows Gadson’s vehicle parked and the officer not did not suggest a traffic violation. Authorities said later officers suspected Gadson of being under the influence and he refused to exit the vehicle when asked. 

Gadson was unhoused and suffering PTSD after serving in the Army, and the video shows the vet asking why he was being arrested for driving under the influence, reported The Root.

And, while a field test was not administered, officers “pulled him out of the car and began punching and kicking him on the ground while trying to handcuff him,” said the Root. 

“I’m not hitting you. What the f-ck did I do?! I wasn’t trying to fight y’all.” Gadson is heard saying, while an officer can be heard yelling, “You’re under arrest you dumb f-ck.”

DOJ civil rights staff asked Colorado Springs Chief Jim Felte about doing its own investigation, noting it had received a complaint “against the Colorado Springs Police Department (alleging the Department discriminated against him based on his race (and) officers used excessive force during a traffic stop.”

According to The Root, “News of the traffic stop spread quickly after images of Gadson lying bloodied on the ground circulated the media as well as one officer smiling while showing off his bloodied knuckles.”

Gadson’s lawyers said the vet suffered eye injuries, a ruptured eardrum and chest wall contusions, via KOAA. 

The DOJ’s inquiry comes about a year after an internal investigation cleared officers of any wrongdoing, but attorney Kevin Mehr said, “By referring this case for criminal investigation, the Department of Justice is putting these officers on notice. The CSPD may not take brutality seriously, but the DOJ does.”

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