ACLU lawsuit accuses Aurora police of excessive force in arrest of 60-year-old man

DENVER -- A lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Colorado in federal court on Monday alleges Aurora police of an unlawful arrest of a disabled 60-year-old man.

The lawsuit alleges that Dwight Crews, a disabled man, was removed from his home without a warrant around 2 a.m. on Nov. 14, 2015. The lawsuit claims he was restrained and forced to the ground before being arrested.

The lawsuit claims that Crews tried to stop his stepdaughter from being physically abused by her husband. The husband called Aurora police claiming that Crews assaulted him.

When officers arrived, they had Crews come outside. After Crews noticed that his cat escaped, an officer threw him to the ground, landing on loose rocks, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit states that Crews, who has a damaged spine from an earlier car accident, suffered multiple injuries in the incident and was charged with resisting arrest and assault against his stepdaughter’s abuser.

A judge dropped the resisting arrest charge and a jury found him not guilty of assault.

Aurora police said in a statement that the officers wore a body camera and an investigation was conducted. The internal investigation found that the officers acted appropriately in the incident.

Police said that Crews never filed a complaint with the department and that they only became aware of it after attorneys sent a letter of demand to the city on Oct. 30.

Aurora police say they are unable to comment further on the case because of the lawsuit.