AURORA | The City of Aurora will pay $110,000 to a man tased in the back by an Aurora police officer in 2016, the ACLU of Colorado announced today.
Darsean Kelly was tased in January 2016 after police responding to a report of a man threatening a child with a gun stopped him while he was walking on East 14th Avenue. Video of the incident, which was recorded by an officer’s body camera, shows Kelly with his arms raised yelling, “I know my rights” and demanding to know why he is being detained when an officer fired a taser at him.
In a statement Thursday, ACLU of Colorado Legal Director Mark Silverstein commended the city for reaching the settlement but said the city still needs to update its use-of-force policy after an APD investigation said police did nothing wrong when they tased Kelly.
“The decision of the Aurora City Attorney’s Office to fairly and promptly resolve this matter stands in stark contrast to the actions of the Aurora Police Department, which at every turn has refused to acknowledge any wrongdoing or need for policy change even in the face of public outrage and irrefutable video evidence of misconduct,” Silverstein said. “The Aurora Police Department has no written policy whatsoever explaining when police can and cannot fire their tasers. And the Department desperately needs truly independent citizen oversight to hold the police accountable for wrongdoing.”
Police declined to comment on the settlement and referred questions to the city manager’s office, which released the following statement from city attorney Mike Hyman: “We disagree with the ACLU’s characterization of the events in this case and their unwarranted attack against the Aurora Police Department. This case was settled for the reason that many cases are settled – to avoid the cost of prolonged litigation. That cost would have far exceeded the value of the settlement.”
After being tased police arrested Kelly on a disorderly conduct charge that was subsequently dropped. The ACLU said Kelly had to spend three days behind bars before he could post bail and be released.