COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KDVR) – The district attorney for the 4th Judicial District of Colorado says no charges will be filed in the death of a man involved in an altercation with Colorado Springs police officers.
In July, a coroner ruled the May 24, 2020 death of Chad Burnett a homicide.
“Following our review of all relevant evidence, the District Attorney’s Office has concluded that the force used by the officers during this arrest was reasonable and appropriate and did not even rise to the level of deadly force,” the DA’s office wrote in a press release. “There is no evidence of officers using any chokeholds or asphyxiating techniques. Without Mr. Burnett’s severe heart disease, which was unknown to the officers and would not have been physically apparent to them, the evidence indicates that Mr. Burnett would not have died from this encounter.”
Police responded to Burnett’s home on May 24 after neighbors reported that he was threatening at least one person with a knife.
When officers arrived, Burnett was inside his home, and he initially refused to come outside or open the front door. The police officers tried to speak to Burnett through the door.
One officer could be heard in police body-camera footage saying, “We won’t hurt you, of course not. We’re here to help you.”
Eventually, Burnett came outside his home and spoke with police for a few moments before they chased him back into his house, tased him and handcuffed him.
Burnett resisted the officers attempts to take him outside of his home in cuffs.
They restrained him inside the home, and according to the police department, an officer contacted dispatchers to request a medical crew to respond to the scene because an officer had deployed a taser.
According to a police timeline, the medical crew arrived 15 minutes after they were first contacted about the taser deployment. They soon discovered he was not breathing and began chest compressions but were unable to revive him.
“It is my opinion that Chad Burnett, a 49-year-old white male, died as a result of sudden death associated with physical altercation, taser deployment, cardiac hypertrophy with myocardial fibrosis, and bipolar disorder featuring acute psychotic episode,” the El Paso County Coroner wrote in his autopsy report. “Because his death occurred during a physical altercation with other persons, including the use of a taser, the manner of death is homicide.”