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Aurora police brutality victim faces ‘long road’ to recovery, attorney says

Attorneys for Kyle Vinson said he remained hospitalized and faced “a long road” to recovery a day after the Aurora Police Department released a video of his alleged assault at the hands of officers.

Aurora officers John Haubert and Francine Martinez were on leave from the department as prosecutors mull formal charges. Haubert turned himself in on a warrant alleging crimes including assault. Martinez turned herself in on a warrant alleging she failed to intervene to stop the assault, a misdemeanor.

Police body camera video released Tuesday showed Haubert hitting Vinson with a pistol and choking him, as he shouts, “Help! Don’t shoot me” and “I can’t breathe, dude.”

It’s the second major police brutality investigation for Aurora in less than two years. The department has repeatedly pledged reform since 23-year-old Elijah McClain died during what started out as a routine stop by Aurora Police officers.

The lawyer representing McClain’s family in a civil suit is now also representing Vinson. Qusair Mohamedbhai on Wednesday accused Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman of failing to stamp out police misconduct since McClain’s death.

“Mike Coffman has been stonewalling all efforts for meaningful police reform in Aurora and at some point the constituents need to look at their leader and say ‘are you part of the problem or are you part of the solution?'” Mohamedbhai said Wednesday.

In an email statement to The Gazette, Coffman responded that the Aurora department moved quickly to seek justice against the two officers involved in the Vinson incident.

“Two … officers are facing criminal charges for their alleged misconduct in the handling of a suspect,” Coffman wrote. “… I do not consider it appropriate for me to comment on the incident until the Internal Affairs investigation is complete and made public.”

Haubert and Martinez encountered Vinson while responding to a trespassing complaint at 3138 South Parker Road, discovering he had an outstanding warrant for a domestic violence case.

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