Denver Police Retaliated Against Levi Frasier for Recording Their Use of Excessive Force Against Unarmed Civilian & Pregnant Woman
DENVER, August 14, 2015 – A witness to an unlawful police beating filed a federal civil rights suit today against Denver police for violating his 1st and 4th Amendment freedoms by threatening him with arrest if he did not turn over video of the attack and unlawfully searching his tablet.
Levi Frasier, a Denver-area resident, video-recorded a Denver police officer, Charles Jones, punching a civilian numerous times in the head and tripping the civilian’s heavily pregnant girlfriend, causing her to fall to the pavement. The civilian was unarmed and restrained by other Denver police officers at the time.
“The officers knew that Mr. Frasier was recording or photographing them. After the officers placed the unarmed civilian under arrest, they surrounded Mr. Frasier, threatened him with arrest, and demanded his video,” the suit says. “Having done nothing wrong, Mr. Frasier refused to hand over his tablet or video. Without consent or any lawful justification whatsoever, Officer Evans seized Mr. Frasier’s tablet from him and searched it illegally.”
The suit continues, “The officers’ actions violated Mr. Frasier’s First Amendment right under the United States Constitution to record the police performing their official duties in public. The First Amendment protects the right to gather, receive, record, and disseminate information on matters of public importance relating to civil liberties and civil rights, including the official actions of police officers in public.”
Far from the incident with Mr. Frasier being unique, the suit charges that “Defendant City and County of Denver … police officers regularly intimidate, harass, and threaten witnesses who they believe are recording or attempting to record them performing their official duties in public. This is a widespread pattern, practice, and custom of Denver police officers.”
The suit charges that leading City and County of Denver officials encourage this illegal and unconstitutional conduct by police. As evidence, it notes that shortly after the public release of Mr. Frasier’s video – documenting that Officer Jones had lied in his police report – the City nonetheless promoted him.
Levi Frasier is represented by attorney Elizabeth Wang of Loevy & Loevy Attorneys at Law, one of the largest civil rights law firms in the country with offices in Boulder and Chicago. Loevy & Loevy has won more multi-million dollar jury verdicts than any other civil rights law firm in the entire country over the past decade. Copies of the suit, Levi Frasier v. Christopher Evans, et al., No. 15-cv-1795 are available here.