DENVER – A second video showing how some Denver Police Department officers behaved during and after the arrest of a pair of unarmed drug suspects sheds new light on allegations of misconduct.
The incident in question is the August arrest of Honduran immigrant David Flores and his pregnant girlfriend Myra Lyzos-Guererro by members of District Four Narcotics Team and several uniformed officers.
On a recording shot by witness Levi Frasier, a uniformed officer is seen punching Flores in the face six times in an attempt to get him to open his mouth. That same officer also does a “leg sweep” on Lyzos-Guererro.
Flores ended up going to the hospital.
Denver police have repeatedly released statements saying the use of force was reasonable, but after Frasier’s video surfaced in November, internal affairs reopened the investigation into the case.
Fox31 Denver has learned that one of the additional items police investigators are reviewing is video from a city-operated HALO (High-Activity Location Observation) camera. The camera is mounted on a pole about three blocks from the arrest scene at West 5th Avenue and Federal Boulevard.
Levi Frasier, a citizen who shot the street-level recording on his Samsung tablet and provided it to Fox31 Denver for air three weeks ago, has told the FBI he was threatened with incarceration unless he turned over his tablet to Denver officers.
Frasier also says when he refused police took it anyway without a warrant, scrolled through his electronic device, then when they returned it, he could not find the video clip. He later restored it from “the cloud.”
Denver police have attacked Frasier’s credibility by publicly releasing his criminal record and telling Fox31 Denver that he is a “liar.”
However, the HALO video appears to support most of what Frasier has been saying.
In a portion of that recording, at least five officers surround Frasier, something he said was intimidating.
In another section of HALO video, Frasier was escorted to his work van, where he had hidden the tablet with the recording of Flores’ arrest under some tools.
Later, Frasier was taken out of HALO camera view behind a police SUV with his tablet in hand. There are segments of the time behind that police SUV where Frasier appears to be empty-handed.
Frasier tells Fox31 Denver that is where the officers took control of his tablet.
DPD released a written statement when asked by Fox31 Denver to comment on the HALO footage.
“Immediately following the incident we reviewed the initial use of force at three levels and found no violation of law or policy. To date, no complaint has been filed with the Denver Police Department regarding this incident and despite our initial findings, we reopened the investigation proactively to ensure whether our determination of this matter is correct. We are still attempting to obtain a statement from Mr. Frasier to gather enough information so that we may proceed. While we have viewed the video we cannot discuss its content with you as it is potential evidence in this case.”
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