//John Haubert’s arrest photo. Courtesy of the Aurora Police Department.
The Aurora Police Department added another incident of police brutality to an already long list of past indiscretions. On July 23, Officer John Haubert allegedly beat and injured Kyle Maurice Vinson in Aurora while responding to a trespassing report. Haubert has since resigned from the force.
Following the incident, Haubert was charged with three felonies: attempted first-degree assault, second-degree assault and felony menacing. The other officer present, Francine Martinez, faces criminal charges for not intervening.
At a press conference on July 27, Aurora Police Chief Vanessa Wilson called the actions criminal and a slap in the face to the efforts the police department has made to restore trust with the community.
The arrest affidavit states the incident began around 2 p.m. when both officers responded to a trespassing report. Footage from the body cameras of both officers shows three men sitting on a curb. In the video, two of the men can be seen running away as officers approach. Haubert proceeds to approach Vinson with his weapon drawn and pushes him down to the ground. According to the affidavit, Vinson did not run and made no attempt to fight Haubert.
Haubert’s body cam shows him repeatedly pistol whipping Vinson and demanding that Vinson stop fighting. Vinson jerks repeatedly away from Haubert’s blows while begging the officer not to hurt him. Blood from Vinson’s injuries is seen on the ground, as well as a welt the size of a golf ball on the side of his face and a large cut on his head. At one point, Vinson can be seen losing consciousness as Haubert chokes him while exclaiming, “You move and I will shoot you.”
Aurora police issued arrest warrants for Haubert and Martinez the following Monday, July 26. Both officers turned themselves in and were bonded out of jail.
“We’re disgusted. We’re angry,” Wilson said. “This is not police work. We don’t train this; it is not acceptable.”
Vinson was taken to the Medical Center of Aurora for his injuries following the assault and then to jail due to an outstanding warrant for a parole violation. Aurora PD has yet to confirm if they will pursue those charges. Vinson’s father, Maurice Vinson, learned about the assault on the news. He said that the arrest of the two officers and the statements made are not enough.
“When I saw that video and what was happening to him I thought he was gonna die,” Maurice told CBS Denver, “I dropped my phone and my wife, she was just—I had to pick her up off the ground.”
The video, broadcast nationwide, ends with the officers checking on one another while Vinson lies on the ground asking for water and says, “I was just fighting for my life, man.”
The full body cam footage can be seen here. The arrest affidavit for Haubert is here, and the one for Martinez is here.
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