DA drops charges against man beaten by police

Dalvin Gadson Ochoa faced charges of resisting arrest and assaulting an officer
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Ochoa in the hospital after the traffic stop [Courtesy Dalvin Gadson Ochoa]

Fourth Judicial District District Attorney Michael Allen dismissed several charges against Dalvin Gadson Ochoa, who last October was pulled from his vehicle after a traffic stop for having no visible plates and beaten by officers. Those officers said they saw a knife in his car’s cup holder.

Ochoa pleaded guilty to unlawful display of license plates, and his lawyers said in a release he paid a $15 fine. The plate was in his car’s backseat, rather than visible on the vehicle. Ochoa has filed a federal lawsuit alleging excessive use of force by the officers.

Allen said in a statement the other charges were dismissed and cited a rule from the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct that states a prosecutor shall “refrain from prosecuting a charge that the prosecutor knows is not supported by probable cause.”

Dalvin Gadson Ochoa after his encounter with police [Courtesy Dalvin Gadson Ochoa]

Meantime, Ochoa’s attorneys said in a release that two counts of second degree assault on a police officer, resisting arrest, obstructing a peace officer and DUI were dismissed.

Ochoa’s legal team, which includes civil rights attorneys Harry Daniels, Bakari Sellers, Latrice Latin and Kevin Mehr, said:

“By dropping the charges, the District Attorney has made it clear that these officers had no reason to detain Mr. Gadson for a DUI investigation much less beat him mercilessly and then smile for the cameras as he lay on the ground bleeding. In other words, this decision means that their actions weren’t just excessive. They were unlawful.

“Chief Adrian Vasquez said that Officers Colby J. Hickman, Matthew Anderson and Christopher K. Hummel did nothing wrong. But the reality is that they brutally beat Dalvin Gadson for a $15 fine and they should be investigated, arrested and prosecuted. Failing to do so puts lives at risk. Just ask Tyre Nichols’ family.” Tyre Nichols, who lived in Tennessee, died three days after he was brutally beaten in early January by at least five Memphis Police Department officers. The officers were fired and have been charged with second degree murder, among other charges.

We’ve reported on the Gadson Ochoa case here and also in this story, which took a close look at the backgrounds of the three Colorado Springs Police officers involved.

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