An Aurora police officer beat an unarmed man with a pistol 13 times, choked him and threatened to kill him while responding to a trespassing call in Aurora last week, body camera footage released Tuesday shows.
Days after the violent arrest, the Aurora Police Department announced that the officer, John Haubert, faces allegations of attempted first-degree assault, second-degree assault and menacing, which are felonies, as well as charges of official oppression and first-degree official misconduct, which are misdemeanors.
A warrant was issued for Haubert’s arrest and he was taken into custody.
In the body camera footage, Haubert approaches Kyle Maurice Vinson, who is sitting near a tree, and orders him to roll over onto his stomach. Haubert, who has his gun drawn, then places his hand around Vinson’s neck, forcing his head down into the ground and pointing the gun at Vinson’s head.
Haubert then starts to hit Vinson in his head with the pistol as he rolls onto his back, ordering him to “stop fighting.”
Vinson is heard crying — “you’re killing me,” he said — and blood is seen on his hands and neck. Haubert then grabs Vinson by the throat as he lay on the ground and chokes him until he has trouble speaking.
Vinson is not seen making any threats toward the officers.
“If you move, I will shoot you,” Haubert is heard saying to Vinson, 29.
Another responding officer, Francine Martinez, faces two misdemeanor charges, including failure to report use of force and failure to intervene, the department said.
The arrests come nearly a year after the Colorado Attorney General’s Office opened an investigation into the “patterns and practices” of the Aurora Police Department.
The probe came in the wake of national outrage over the August 2019 death of Elijah McClain after an encounter with Aurora police officers and paramedics, as well as criticism about the agency’s other dealings with the public.
The attorney general’s office is also reviewing McClain’s death to determine if charges should be brought against any of the officers and paramedics who stopped him. McClain, 23, was unarmed and had committed no crime.