by Douglas Ankney
Commerce City, Colorado, paid $175,000 to settle a suit alleging police officer Chris Dickey tased Joshua Condiotti-Wade because Dickey was angered by Condiotti-Wade’s placards that read “Fuck Bad Cops” and “Blue Lives Murder.”
Dickey’s bodycam showed him approaching Condiotti-Wade and another man holding the placards while protesting on the sidewalk outside the Adams County Human Services building. Dickey told the men they were on private property, that they were being disorderly, and that they needed to leave. After the men refused to provide identification, Dickey moved forward to arrest them. Dickey tripped. Condiotti-Wade ran, explaining later that he “observed the anger in [Dickey’s] eyes and, worried that he could become the next news story about an officer forcibly arresting and beating a citizen.”
Dickey gave chase, pulled out his taser, and fired at Condiotti-Wade, resulting in Condiotti-Wade being taken to the hospital to have a taser barb removed from his arm.
The bodycam revealed Dickey’s Commander, Mark Morgan, arriving on scene and questioning Dickey. Morgan informed Dickey that Condiotti-Wade had been standing on public property, was protected by the First Amendment right to free speech, and wasn’t being disorderly.
The lawsuit alleged Dickey has a history of at least five civilian complaints of use of excessive force during an arrest or contact without any legal justification between 2011 and 2014. If not for the bodycam footage, the suit, if filed, most likely would have ended in a “he said, he said” draw. Commerce City police began wearing body cameras about one month before the incident. The video was posted to TikTok and, as of July 2022, had more than 16 million views and 2.4 million likes.
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