The internal affairs unit of the Denver Police Department began reviewing circumstances surrounding a drug arrest in the parking lot near West 5th Ave and Federal Boulevard on August 14th. The previously closed investigation is being reopened because the police officers in question are being accused of rouging up the suspect and his pregnant girlfriend. A bystander on his tablet shot a video and this video contradicts the accuracy of the officers’ written statements.
The video in question shows two undercover narcotics and two uninformed officers punching the victim in the face six times. They then do a leg sweep on the 7 ½ month pregnant girlfriend, causing her to fall very hard on her face and stomach. Police reports said that the group stopped the couple after they saw the boyfriend, David Flores, buy heroin.
The man filming the police brutality, Levi Frasier, said that police seized his tablet, against his will and threatened to arrest him if he did not hand over the device. When the tablet was eventually returned to him, the clip was missing. Later, however, he found the arrest video stored safely in his cloud media storage.
According to Frasier, police officers ripped the device out of his hand, violating both his civil rights and federal law. They also searched through his personal photo files without a court order, which is also against federal cell phone search laws. According to law, police cannot seize mobile devices without a search warrant—but that does not mean that they don’t still do so.
While police officers can threaten and intimidate a citizen who has a video, they are not allowed to seize a camera, tablet, or cellphone without a judge’s signed warrant. They’re going to tell you to give them the device, they may even tell you to delete the file, but they are not allowed to force you to do so or grab the device from you and delete it themselves. That is against the law—and illegal.
The Supreme Court ruled that while police officers had a right to look in your purse or pockets, they were not allowed to look in personal electronic storage devices. According to the Supreme Court, your cellphone contains important details about your life, including social security numbers, bank records, and passwords. Police officers are not entitled to that information without any oversight.
Boulder Criminal Defense Lawyers
If you or someone you love has been a victim of police brutality or you feel your rights have been violated, contact an experienced Boulder criminal defense lawyer immediately. Contact the Boulder criminal defense lawyers at Steven Louth Law Offices today for a free consultation and review of your case. Call us at (303) 422-2297 to start building a solid defense against these serious criminal charges.