Fort Collins officer who body slammed female student exonerated, returned to duty

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FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- The officer caught on camera body slamming a Colorado State University student  has been exonerated and returned to full duty, the Fort Collins Police Department said Thursday.

The department said an internal investigation cleared officer Randall Klamser of any wrongdoing.

He was initially placed on paid administrative leave.

The internal investigation included interviews with Klamser, four witness officers and three citizen witnesses. The woman arrested was offered the opportunity to submit a statement but declined to do so.

The department said the decision to initially place Klamser on leave was because of the public response to the video, which gained national attention, and was not disciplinary.

Several people have said the officer used excessive force, but police said 22-year-old Michaella Surat assaulted an officer, hitting and grabbing him by the throat before the 9-second video was taken on April 6.

Video shows Klamser throwing Surat, who is 5-foot-9 and 115 pounds according to information on her booking photo, to the ground face first and has been shared thousands of times.

The then-Fort Collins police chief had said the video was taken out of context and officers were wearing body cameras.

Police said they will release the officer's body camera videos from the arrest, but not until after the district attorney’s prosecution has concluded.

Surat was arrested on charges of third-degree assault and obstructing a peace officer.

Surat's attorney said she suffered a concussion, cuts and bruises. He called the procedure used "disturbing."