WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. (KDVR) — Police in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, have released the entire bodycam video of their interaction with an apparently intoxicated man outside of a bar after his brief detention raised questions about whether it was legal and necessary.
In the May 1 video, officers approach a man outside of a bar. He tells them he has ordered an Uber ride.
Officers ask for identification, but the man refuses and is handcuffed and placed into the back of a patrol car. Eventually, the officers are able to unlock the man’s phone and verify a rideshare is, indeed, on its way.
The man is removed from the back of the patrol car and allowed to get into the Uber ride.
At the end of the video, the man is seen shaking hands with officers and giving a fist bump.
The entire interaction is a little more than 20 minutes.
In justifying the incident, Wheat Ridge Police cite two statutes: Authorization of officers to stop and detain any person suspected of criminal activity and authorization of authorities to place a person in “Protective Custody” who is intoxicated or incapacitated.
Criminal defense attorney Chris Decker questions whether there was reasonable suspicion.
“He is sitting outside of a bar. He is not in apparent trauma. They do note that he is intoxicated, but he admits he’s intoxicated and that’s why he’s ordered an Uber and why he’s sitting waiting for it,” Decker said.
“I think they made the right decision by releasing him. The question is, did they have the legal authority, and was it appropriate for them to put their hands on him and arrest him? And I think that’s going to be an open debate, and different folks are going to see that tape and conclude differently.”