A white Colorado police officer has resigned and is facing felony assault charges for brutally beating a Black suspect on July 23, 2021. It turns out the officer was hired despite having a prison record for drunkenly aiming a gun at another man.
Aurora Police Department (APD) Officer John Haubert, 39 and white, along with fellow Officer Francine Martinez, 40, was checking out reported trespassing on July 23, 2021, when he ran into 29-year-old Kyle Vinson. The Black Army veteran, who is homeless, had an outstanding warrant for a probation violation, so Haubert decided to arrest him. That’s when the situation turned violent.
Haubert’s body camera showed that he pistol-whipped Vinson in the head at least seven times, ordering him to lie on his stomach on the ground. Vinson, who later said he feared for his life, was left with a gash on his head that took six stitches to close.
According to news reports that surfaced then, APD hired Haubert after he spent time in prison on a 2009 conviction for pointing a shotgun at a friend trying to keep Haubert from driving drunk. It was not immediately clear if APD hired him despite his prison record or if it was a fact that was inadequately weighed in his hiring.
After reviewing the body-cam footage, APD Chief Vanessa Wilson called the incident “a despicable act.” Since taking her job in 2020, she has terminated 14 officers for misconduct. She placed Haubert on unpaid leave while an internal investigation was opened that led to his charges. He resigned from the department on July 29, 2021.
Martinez was also placed on leave and ultimately fired on August 12, 2021, for failing to intervene as her partner gave Vinson a beat-down and later failing to report the use of force. She was criminally charged for both failures. Haubert’s charges include one count of assault with a deadly weapon causing serious bodily injury, a second felony assault charge of strangulation, felony menacing, and misdemeanor charges of official misconduct and official oppression.
This is just the latest embarrassing report APD has suffered since three of its officers in 2019 assaulted a young Black man, 23-year-old Elijah McClain, without any apparent provocation, leaving him with injuries from which he later died. A year later, four other officers posted a selfie at a memorial set up for McClain in which they struck poses mocking his death. Those four were fired. None of those involved in McClain’s death has yet been prosecuted. Two of them remain employed by APD.
Sources: Yahoo! News, CBS News, KCNC-TV
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