Colorado guards face charges in excessive force case

Posted at 6:28 PM, Jun 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-21 20:28:35-04

Two Colorado prison guards face criminal charges and are the defendants in a federal civil rights lawsuit in connection with an excessive force case caught on Centennial Correctional Facility cameras.

The lawsuit lists seven defendants, including the two guards and warden, Travis Trani.

The graphic video depicts a September 2014 incident involving inmate, Shawn Lovett and corrections officers, Anthony Martinez and Shannon Proud. It shows Martinez grab a handcuffed Lovett by his shackles and flip him onto his head on the concrete floor. Lovett was knocked unconscious and bleeding from his head as the guards pinned him down.

"Stop fighting Lovett, stop fighting," the guards are heard yelling on the video even though he's not moving.

The video shows Lovett on the ground moaning as more officers arrive and hold him down.  It takes more than two minutes for medical help to arrive.

"You guys get your knee off of him, Brown get your knee off of him," someone is heard saying on the video.

According to the lawsuit, which was filed in March in U.S. District Court in Denver by Sarah Schielke of The Life and Liberty Law Office, the attack left Lovett with two lacerations, nine stitches and massive swelling.  He now suffers from PTSD, migraines and vision problems.

The lawsuit says when Lovett was taken to medical, Dr. Richard Hodge, also a defendant in the lawsuit, failed to treat him for brain trauma and didn't take a single X-ray despite his clear injuries.

After the incident, Martinez and Proud were accused of falsifying their reports about what happened.  The lawsuit says Martinez initially wrote the inmate "aggressively kicked back towards [Martinez] striking [his] right hand/wrist," which the videos later revealed was not true.  Martinez is also accused of making a false workers comp claim.

Department of Corrections Spokesperson, Laurie Kilpatrick confirmed Martinez was fired.  Currently he faces second-degree assault, third-degree assault and attempting to influence a public official.

Proud still works for the facility despite facing a felony criminal charge of accessory to a crime as well as official misconduct and false reporting.

Kilpatrick said she cannot comment on personnel matters but the Department of Corrections has a "zero-tolerance policy for excessive use of force."

Records show Lovett is currently serving a 30-year sentence for sex assault and robbery among other charges.