The chief of police in Aurora, Colorado, is apologizing after video of a brutal arrest captured on the body cameras of two officers was released Tuesday.
The body cam videos showed officers attempting to arrest three men with outstanding felony warrants last Friday. When two fled the scene, Kyle Vinson was left sitting alone. Within minutes, he would be left beaten and bloodied — saying he was fighting for his life.
In the videos, Officer John Haubert could be seen pointing his gun at Vinson, ordering him to lie face down and show his hands, which he did.
The officer then hit Vinson with his pistol at least seven times. One cut on Vinson’s head required six stitches. He later held him by the neck for almost 40 seconds.
“I can’t even breathe,” Vinson could be heard crying.
Vinson’s father, Maurice, said he was shocked by what he saw.
“I thought he was gonna die,” Maurice Vinson said. “Because he said, ‘you’re killing me.'”
Aurora Police Chief Vanessa Wilson called the arrest a “despicable act.”
“We’re disgusted. We’re angry. This is not police work,” Wilson said. “This is not the Aurora Police Department. This was criminal.”
Since becoming chief in 2020, Wilson has worked to reform the Aurora Police Department, terminating 14 officers for misconduct. The year before she became chief,after Aurora police put him in a neck-hold and paramedics injected him with ketamine after he was stopped while walking home from a convenience store.
Wilson said as soon as she saw this new video, she ordered an internal affairs investigation. Wilson said she supports the quick release of body cam videos, which is now required by Colorado law within 21 days in incidents where there are complaints.
“And that’s why I’m doing it here today,” Wilson said. “Because you have a right to know what happened.”
Officer Haubert is facing multiple felony charges, including second-degree assault and attempted first-degree assault. Another officer on the scene, Francine Martinez, faces misdemeanor charges for failing to intervene or report the use of force.
Authorities have yet to say whether Vinson will face charges for an outstanding warrant on a probation violation.
“I didn’t do anything, dude,” Vinson said on the body camera footage, “I was just fighting for my life, man.”
Officer Haubert is on administrative leave without pay. His lawyer would not comment, but says he will “zealously” defend his client. Officer Martinez is on leave with pay, which is department policy when charged with a non-felony. CBS News is seeking comment from her or her representative, but has not yet been able to reach them.