New Video Of Police Takedown Revives Police Brutality Claims
By Stan Bush
FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) - Newly released body camera footage is resurrecting police brutality claims where a Fort Collins Police officer is seen body slamming a female Colorado State University student.
The video was taken from Ofc. Randall Klamser who was recorded throwing 22-year-old Michaella Surat face first into the pavement during the investigation of a bar fight.
In the video, Klamser says Surat can leave the scene, but when she turns around, he grabs her and controls her after a brief exchange. Surat repeatedly asks what she had done wrong without an answer and Klamser threatens to throw her to the ground.
A few seconds later Surat is whipped to the ground in front of dozens of bar patrons.
"He doesn't have a right to grab her, and she has a right to resist under Colorado law," said civil rights attorney David Lane, who is now representing Surat. "He has no legal right to use that force, and she has a legal right to refuse that force."
In his affidavit, Klamser accused Surat of assault saying Surat was choking him. The video shows Surat trying to fight off Klamser grabbing her arm, but never shows her choking the officer.
"Did he produce any evidence of those scars? Not one shred. They had pictures of everything. He said she dug her nails in his neck and there's not a mark on him. Not one shred of proof," Lane said.
Larimer County prosecutors dropped assault charges, but are still charging her with resisting arrest, a misdemeanor offense.
"If that was not a cop, and he did that he would be facing felony assault charges, but it's a cop so now she's the defendant," adds Lane.
Klamser was placed on administrative leave, but was eventually cleared by the department of wrongdoing. He is still on active service.
Fort Collins police say Chief John Hutto, the commander in charge at the time of the incident, chose not release the body camera video to reduce publicity in the case before it went to trial.
Surat's resisting arrest trial has been continued until August. After the case, a civil rights complaint against Fort Collins Police appears imminent.
Stan Bush is a general assignment reporter at CBS4. His stories can be seen on CBS4 News at 10. Read his bio and follow him on Twitter @StanBushTV.
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