Lawsuit Claims White Aurora Cops Broke Into Black Man's House w/o a Warrant & Arrested Him on False Charges

From [DenverPost] A 60-year-old Black man has filed a federal lawsuit against Aurora police after they arrested him following an incident in which he fought off a man who was beating his stepdaughter.

Dwight Crews’ “illegal arrest” was one of a series of incidents in recent years in which Aurora police officers mistreated people of color, according to a news release Monday by the American Civil Liberties Union.

“This case adds to a disturbing string of incidents in which Aurora police have abused and violated the Constitutional rights of people of color,” said Mark Silverstein, ACLU legal director. “Until Aurora improves police transparency and accountability, the victims have no choice but to seek justice in the courts.”

Crews is seeking compensatory damages.

On Nov. 14, 2015, Crews intervened when his stepdaughter was being beaten by her husband, the news release says.

Two Aurora police officers allegedly removed Crews from his house on Nov. 14, 2015 without a warrant in the middle of the night, according to the lawsuit filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Denver. The officers restrained Crews, forced him to the ground and unlawfully arrested him on trumped-up charges, the lawsuit says.

“The Constitution forbids police from intruding into the privacy of a person’s home unless they have a warrant issued by a judge,” Silverstein said in a new release. “Our 60-year-old client was not a threat and presented himself in a calm and cooperative manner.”

Aurora police, on Facebook, said the department “takes allegations of misconduct very seriously and officers are required to maintain the high standard of conduct that is expected from members of our community.”

Crews’ arrest was recorded with an officer’s body camera, and a use-of-force investigation was conducted by a police supervisor. Both officers were found to have “acted appropriately,” police said.

Crews had not filed a complaint with the Aurora Police Department and the City of Aurora regarding his arrest, police said. The department became aware of the accusations Oct. 30 when Crews’ attorneys sent a “letter of demand” to the city.

Other Aurora cases cited by the ACLU include:

  • In July, Aurora paid $110,000 to settle claims brought by ACLU of Colorado on behalf of Darsean Kelley, a black man who said officers used a stun gun as on his back as he said, “I know my rights.”
  • In September, ACLU of Colorado sued on behalf of Omar Hassan, a black man who Aurora police forcibly removed from a coffee shop after telling him, “your kind of business is not welcome here.”