Colorado Springs pays $160,000 to settle excessive force lawsuit


The robot police used to breach Brown's condominium. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • The robot police used to breach Brown's condominium.
Back in May 2012, Colorado Springs police surrounded the condominium of Ronald Brown who had fired a gunshot into the ground two days before.

Brown's case and others were the subject of the Independent's extensive report on July 15, 2015, and said this about the Colorado Springs Police Department operation:

... two dozen officers, two armored vehicles and the police mobile command center descended upon the neighborhood to "contain and call out" Brown, according to police reports.

The retired Army sergeant refused to budge. Or even come to the door.

Seven hours, 28 tear-gas canisters and many flash-bangs later, police set off an explosion inside Brown's front door, shattering every window in his home and leaving a hole in the floor.

Brown suffered a broken leg and other injuries in the blast, and was charged with five felonies and a misdemeanor.

The police department was slapped with a lawsuit.
Police even considered putting a fire hose into a basement window and flooding the place to try to literally flush Brown out. The Fire Department put a kabosh on that idea.

The city has now settled that lawsuit by paying $160,000 to Brown after losing its bid to have the case dismissed in 2016. At that time, U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch wrote:
The reasonableness of the use of the explosive device must be considered in the full context of the case. This stand-off went for eight hours – through the night and into the early morning of the next day. The police officers knew of the vulnerability of the plaintiff and yet they were creating a war zone scene which would be expected to trigger a reaction by a veteran with PTSD. They did not wait for a person qualified to negotiate with Mr. Brown although it is questionable whether it would be reasonable to expect him to respond. What is more significant is the failure to wait for the Army robot which ultimately did what was required to enter the basement without exposing the officers. The explosive device would not have been needed. There has been no explanation for that failure.
The settlement, agreed to by Brown on June 9, includes a nondisparagement agreement, meaning Brown can't say bad things about the city or he'll have to pay the city $5,000.

Brown's attorney, Shimon Kohn, declined to comment on the settlement.

Here's the six-page agreement:
See related PDF Brown-Release-Signed.pdf Another case featured in the Indy's July 15, 2015, cover story involved Alexis Acker, who was thrown face first into the floor at Memorial Hospital by an officer. She was paid $100,000.

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