AURORA, Colo. (AP) — An Aurora police officer has been suspended for one week for a well-publicized incident in which the white officer pulled a gun on an Indian American doctor who was trying to park at a refugee center the doctor operates.
The Sentinel reports that Officer Justin Henderson with the Aurora Police Department was suspended for 40 hours without pay and ordered to attend de-escalation training for his March 1 confrontation with Dr. P.J. Parmar.
Parmar, who is Indian American, says he's disappointed with the punishment and that he believes his race affected how Henderson treated him.
His attorney has said he plans to file a federal lawsuit against the city.
In a June interview, Parmar told Denver7 he wants to see reforms made in the Aurora Police Department.
He said on March 1, he was moving Boy Scout gear from the Mango House — a shared space for refugees and asylees, located at 10180 E. Colfax Avenue — to another property, when he noticed a police car parked in his ground level garage, partially blocking the exit. He said he honked his car and and officer jumped out of the vehicle, swore at him and pulled out a gun as he ran toward Parmar's car. He then started recording the interaction on his phone.
In that recording, Henderson is heard saying, "What are you doing?
Parmar replies, "What did you say? You're on my property. Leave."
He told the officer he was trespassing and repeatedly asked him to leave.
"No, I'm going to figure out whose property this is first," Henderson said.
At one point, Parmar said Henderson pointed a gun at his face.
"The gun pointed at me — it was scary, but it's not what hurt the most," Parmar said in June. "What hurt the most was him questioning whether or not I owned that property."
Parmar said what happened to him speaks to generations of trauma that people of color have faced in the U.S.
Denver7's June report is below.