Taxpayers Not Officers Will Pay for a Police’s Unlawful Assault
AURORA, COLORADO – May 22, 2018
The city of Aurora will pay $335,000 to settle a lawsuit from OyZhana Williams, who was tackled, punched and kicked in the head by a police sergeant, who then arrested the woman on an assault charge.
Adam Frank, an attorney for Williams, said in a statement on Tuesday that the settlement of $335,000 illustrates what happens when police officers fail to recognize their own emotions and cannot de-escalate tense situations, according to the Denver Post. His client has had her criminal charges dismissed, he said.
“It’s the ultimate case of contempt of cop,” Frank said: “It’s obvious the most dangerous thing you can do is not break any laws but make a cop mad at you.”
OyZhana Williams, the 23-year-old mother of two young children, took Blake Newton to hospital after he’d been shot on December 22, 2015. The police officers told her they were legally in the right to size her car as it might be considered a secondary crime scene.
In 2017, Williams filed an excessive force lawsuit against the Aurora police department whose officers, Sergeant Michael Hawkins, Jordan Odneal, and Jose Ortiz were seen on video "bravely" choking, slamming and stomping the innocent woman before making up forged charges against her.
Helping to save a person’s life should not be a punishable offense, but instead of thanks, OyZhana was beaten and kidnapped. The guilty police officers will not be held accountable for their abuse; the taxpayers will.
None of the officers faced any disciplinary action after assaulting an innocent woman. Nick Metz, Aurora Police Chief, heard about the lawsuit Sergeant Hawkins was placed on desk duty, in the meantime, the other two officers remain on the streets.
Hawkins retired from the Aurora Police Department in January, said Sgt. Chris Neiman, a police spokesman. Odneal and Ortiz remain on the police force, but an internal affairs investigation is pending, he said. So Hawkins is retired and gets his pension as well.
“Officer Odneal and Officer Ortiz should have reported Hawkins’ brutality and taken a completely different tact,” Frank said. “Instead, we saw two officers defend their sergeant, and Ms. Williams had to fight for her freedom for nearly a year.”
Williams had committed no crime, nor did she present any threat to the cops. However, anyone can see what happened in reality; the unlawful assault was captured on the University of Colorado Hospital’s surveillance camera.
There is no need for words, just watch the video, and you'll get the idea: she just helped a man to get to the hospital. There was no need for violence. She is a small woman, not a gangster.
The cops’ actions were not investigated at all, their charges were forgered, and prosecutors were mislead by the inclusion of false information in the probable cause affidavit. Williams spent several days in lock-up, including over the Christmas holiday, which caused her to lose her job, the lawsuit says.
She could have been sentenced up to 12 years for the multiple charges. The officials are in denial of any wrongdoing and released a statement saying this.
“This case was settled for the reason that many cases are settled – to avoid the cost of prolonged litigation,” the statement said. “That cost would have far exceeded the value of the settlement.”
The Aurora Police Department’s page is full of haters calling Williams “dumb” “money hungry” for filing the suit. The armchair quarterbacks say it is no accident that she was waiting so long to sue. This somehow implies that the cops who assaulted her did nothing wrong.
Guys, she was beaten, charged for officer assault and the fired. Is it a crime to be upset at cops, who wanted to take her vehicle, which she needs to get to her job? She has two children. They have to eat. They need clothes.
It takes courage to go back into a police station where three cops work who beat and kidnapped you for no reason and file a complaint.