Travis Cole filed a federal lawsuit against the Boulder County officers who shocked him with a stun gun while he was completely restrained, according to NBC News. Cole says the incident left him traumatized and that his respect for law enforcement has now turned into fear.
In 2020, Cole was in a drunken argument with his girlfriend when the police were called, the report says. Cole was arrested on a domestic violence charge and transferred to Boulder County Jail. The sheriff’s office said Cole became “physically combative” with the arresting officers and he was strapped to a chair. Per the video footage, the officers grabbed Cole by his neck, put a mask over his face and Officer Christopher Mecca electrocuted him with his Taser.
According to the suit, Officer Mecca acted with “no conceivable legitimate law enforcement or penological purpose.” In other words, he was doing way too much.
More about the suit from NBC News:
Cole continued to sit in the chair for four hours, and deputies refused to unstrap him to use the bathroom, according to the suit. The suit also alleges the other law enforcement officers at the scene “did nothing to intervene” and did not tell Mecca to stop or “take any action to de-escalate the situation.”
Cole’s suit, which was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado on Sept. 21, names Mecca as well as Sheriff Joe Pelle and several other deputies as defendants. Neither the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office nor Mecca immediately responded to a request for comment.
While the department said Mecca self-reported the incident, the suit contends that officials became aware only after two Longmont police officers who witnessed the use of force notified their supervisors.
Cole also alleged racism was at play in the incident. In an interview afterwards, Mecca said, “I didn’t think it would look good on camera with deputies using brute force on an African American male,” according to the report. Well, duh. That’s why any interaction between an officer and Black man is often recorded for proof because officers don’t know how to act most of the time.
Cole’s damages are currently unspecified.