Internal Investigation Clears Colo. Officer in Videotaped Traffic Stop

Ryan Brown’s car was stopped for a cracked windshield, but he—along with his brother Benjamin—was taken out of the vehicle at gunpoint.  
YouTube screenshot

A police investigation has concluded that a Colorado Springs, Colo., officer acted properly when he pulled a black man from his car. The police sent a letter (pdf) notifying Ryan Brown that the officer is cleared of wrongdoing, despite what's shown in the video of the encounter.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado said the letter fails to explain the police decision in what the organization considers to have been a racially biased traffic stop on March 25. According to the Denver Post, the ACLU is formally requesting the entire file of the police investigation.


"The internal affairs decision makes it clear that, when officers removed Ryan and Benjamin [his brother] from a vehicle at gunpoint and Taser point, handcuffed them, searched them and detained them, all stemming from a traffic stop for a cracked windshield, it was just business as usual," ACLU of Colorado Legal Director Mark Silverstein said in a statement.

Ryan Brown began recording the stop when officers were frisking Benjamin Brown outside the car. On the recording, Ryan Brown asks the police why they have been stopped and repeatedly asks an officer to identify himself but receives no answer. The video ends with a policeman pulling Ryan Brown from the vehicle and forcing him to the ground. The cllp has been viewed more than 150,000 times on YouTube.

The police cited Benjamin Brown for a cracked windshield, and Ryan Brown for resisting and interference. 

"The message to the community, especially young people of color, is that they should expect this kind of treatment from Colorado Springs police during the course of routine traffic stops," Silverstein said. "That is unacceptable."

Read more at the Denver Post

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