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District attorney drops criminal charges against man beaten during traffic stop in Colorado Springs

Dalvin Gadson
Posted at 2:58 PM, Jan 31, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-31 20:53:24-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — The attorneys for Dalvin Gadson, the 29-year-old man who was injured during an October traffic stop in Colorado Springs, announced that the district attorney has dropped criminal charges against Gadson.

The incident took place on Oct. 9, 2022, when Gadson was pulled over for having no license plates and was suspected to be driving under the influence.

Three Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) officers allegedly used excessive force against Gadson, according to a lawsuit filed against the officers. The lawsuit names officers Colby Hickman, Matthew Anderson, and Christopher Hummel.

RELATED: 'I don't feel safe in Colorado': Man injured in arrest in Colorado Springs calls for accountability

The suit alleges the officers deliberately, knowingly, intentionally, and violently beat Gadson during a traffic stop on October 9. The suit also claims Anderson hit Gadson 20 times over the head with a closed fist.

Gadson was charged with two counts of second-degree assault on a police officer, resisting arrest, obstructing a peace officer, driving under the influence, and driving without license plates. According to his attorneys, Gadson paid a $15 fine for not properly displaying his license plates.

Read the full statement from Gadson's attorneys below:

By dropping the charges, the District Attorney has made it clear that these officers had no reason to detain Mr. Gadson for a DUI investigation, much less beat him mercilessly and then smile for the cameras as he lay on the ground bleeding. In other words, this decision means that their actions weren’t just excessive. They were unlawful. 

Chief Adrian Vasquez said that Officers Colby J. Hickman, Matthew Anderson and Christopher K. Hummel did nothing wrong. But the reality is that they brutally beat Dalvin Gadson for a $15 fine and they should be investigated, arrested and prosecuted. Failing to do so puts lives at risk. Just ask Tyre Nichols’ family.

Back in December, following an administrative review by the chain of command at CSPD, it was determined the officers' use of force was within department policy. However, an online complaint with internal affairs was filed in this case and that investigation is still open at this time.

According to the department, Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez has made no determination regarding the actions of the involved officers.

"Contrary to the statement from Mr. Gadson’s lawyer, Chief Vasquez did not say the involved officers 'did nothing wrong'," a CSPD spokesperson said in a statement.

Gadson's attorneys are asking for an independent criminal investigation and for criminal charges to be filed against the officers involved in the traffic stop.

Natasha Powers is a retired police officer and use of force expert who weighed in after watching the video.

“This incident went from zero to average everyday contact for registration violation, to a use of force where this man afterward, and it's clear on the video, suffered injury,” said Powers.

Powers says Gadson appears confused and also questioned officers about the arrest. She said officers did not give Gadson an explanation as to why he was being detained for investigation of a DUI.

“It was simply, "Get out of the car. You're under arrest for DUI." That makes no sense at all,” said Powers. “And this particular driver had every right to ask him questions with regard to, "Why am I being arrested? What did I do?"”

News5 also asked Powers if she believes all three officers used excessive use of force, to which she responded, “I would say on the initial observation, it would be all three of them. Majority of the time, the cops get it right. In this particular situation, I really think they did not get it right, and I think they failed in their jobs.”


This story was written by our sister station in Colorado Springs, KOAA News5.