Here’s a question: What the hell is wrong with the Aurora Police Department?
Obviously, this is a question that can be asked of police departments across the nation, but police officers in Aurora, Colo., just really don’t seem to care that their department stays in the news behind the aggressive, violent and callous behavior of its officers.
This department is home to officers whose chokehold led to the death of Elijah McClain as well as officers who thought it was funny to pose for pictures near a McClain memorial mocking the manner in which he was handled before his death. The department also employs absolute morons who felt it necessary to have Black girls, the youngest of whom was 6 years old, exit their vehicle at gunpoint and lie face down on the ground because they suspected the non-stolen SUV they were riding in was stolen, even though the stolen vehicle they were called to investigate was a motorcycle with plates from a whole different state.
None of the officers in those cases were ever charged with crimes, but Aurora officers in a fresh case involving alleged police brutality weren’t so fortunate.
The Denver Post reports that APD officers John Haubert and Francine Martinez turned themselves in to the authorities after being accused of crimes related to the violent arrest of a Black man who did nothing to provoke the aggression of a volatile cop, but was choked, pistol-whipped and had his face shoved into the ground all the same, as shown in footage taken from Haubert’s body camera.
From the Post:
Haubert and Martinez were dispatched at 2:16 p.m. Friday on a report of a person trespassing in the 3100 block of South Parker Road and contacted three people who were sitting on a nearby curb, the affidavits state.
After Martinez learned that the three people had felony warrants, the officers tried to take them into custody. Two of the men ran away.
Haubert drew his pistol and pointed it at the third suspect, even though he had his hands up and had not fled or shown any signs of physical resistance, according to the affidavits. The man rolled over as commanded and Haubert grabbed the back of his neck and pressed the muzzle of his gun at the man’s head, according to the affidavits.
Haubert then tried to handcuff the man, who denied he had a warrant and tried to avoid the handcuffs. Haubert climbed on top of him and grabbed the side of the man’s neck, according to the court records. Haubert then struck the man in the head with his gun at least seven times while telling him to lie on his stomach, according to the affidavits.
The man repeatedly told Haubert “you’re killing me,” according to the affidavits. Haubert then grabbed the man from the front of his neck and forced him to the ground and choked him until he had trouble speaking, the affidavits state.
“If you move, I will shoot you,” Haubert told the man, according to the affidavit.
Here’s the thing: Between Haubert and the Black man, only one showed any sign of hostility and aggression throughout the encounter—and that was the trained police officer.
The Black man appeared to just be wondering what the hell he was being arrested for and was calm and compliant until Haubert started choking him, shoving his face into dirt and gravel and pressing his gun into the back of his head like he was digging for treasure buried in his brain.
It’s wild how trained cops can lose their shit over the slightest aggravation and still expect untrained civilians who they’re manhandling, threatening with a loaded gun and shouting orders to calmly and immediately respond to their every demand.
“We’re disgusted,” Aurora Police Chief Vanessa Wilson said, the Post reports. “We’re angry. This is not police work. We don’t train this. It’s not acceptable.” She also said the Black man’s warrant was out of Denver and it’s possible he wasn’t aware of its existence.
Haubert was also caught in bodycam footage telling a sergeant, “I was going to shoot him but I didn’t know if I had a round in it or not.” He also admitted the blood on the man was from him “pistol-whipping him,” according to affidavits.
One would think Haubert—who apparently admitted he would have killed a man for no reason if he was sure there was one in the chamber (Uh...yikes!)—would be more understanding, considering his own criminal history.
According to the Post, Haubert pleaded guilty in 2009 to prohibited use of a weapon after being arrested for wielding a gun while drunk. It was a misdemeanor that would have been a felony if not for the plea deal, and that’s unfortunate since a felony conviction would have barred his ass from ever becoming a police officer in Colorado.
Haubert is now facing three felony charges of attempted first-degree assault, second-degree assault and menacing as well as misdemeanor charges of official oppression and official misconduct. Martinez is facing a misdemeanor charge for failing to intervene in the violent arrest.
The Black man isn’t facing any charges regarding the incident.