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Man sues 2 Aurora officers, claiming he was violently arrested after breaking up domestic dispute

Posted at 9:36 PM, Nov 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-14 00:33:08-05

AURORA, Colo. - A 61-year-old disabled man is suing two Aurora Police officers for an incident where he claims he was thrown to the ground and arrested after breaking up a domestic violence dispute.

Dwight Crews tells Denver7 he was called to break up a fight between his stepdaughter and her husband back in November of 2015.

"I engaged him, hit him in the back to get him to release her," Crews said. "I just wanted him to quit beating her up, which he had done before in the past." 

The man released his stepdaughter, and Crews said he thought the incident was over until Aurora Police showed up at his door. 

Body camera footage recorded the rest of the incident. 

"The altercation never even came up," Crews said.

Instead in the video, two officers told him to exit his front door, walked him into his front yard, and after a short back-and-forth about whether he was resisting or not, the officer threw the man to the ground and arrested him. 

"If they want to make an arrest they need to go get a warrant," Mark Silverstein of the ACLU of Colorado said. 

Silverstein is now representing Crews and suing those two police officers. 

"They did not have ground to make an arrest of Mr. Crews. They did not have grounds to throw him violently to the ground," he said.

The APD responded in a statement on their Facebook page, saying the incident was reviewed “and the officers were found to have acted appropriately.”

But this father, who says he was protecting a woman, his stepdaughter, insists he was the only one who was in the right that night. 

"I didn't do anything wrong," Crews said. 

According to the ACLU, this is the third case that they are reviewing from this year alone involving incidents between Aurora Police Officers and people of color. 

The department included in its statement citing recent changes regarding transparency. 

"One of the changes directly affected the manner in which complaints are received and handled via the Internal Affairs Bureau (IAB) and how use-of-force incidents are investigated, documented and reviewed by a Force Review Board (FRB)," the statement read.