AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — An Aurora Police officer is facing a lawsuit alleging excessive force after body camera video from two years ago shows him punching a man in the face.

On Jan. 20, 2021, the Aurora Police Department responded to reports of a disturbance at an apartment complex in Aurora.

Police reports state Andrew Swain, who was said to be intoxicated, was banging on an apartment door (#303), hitting the doorbell camera and yelling to be let inside. 

When officers arrived on scene, Swain had moved to the adjacent door (#304) and continued to kick and bang on the door.

A police report states, “Officers spoke to the resident of #304 who stated that Andrew was a friend and he has a key to her apartment and does not know why he didn’t use it. She told officers she did not hear anything until we went hands on with Andrew.”

According to Swain’s lawyer, Swain lived in #304 and was trying to wake up his roommate because he had lost his keys.

Swain continued to kick the door and did not cooperate with police. In an attempt to arrest Swain, an officer punched him once.

According to police documents, the narrow landing posed a safety hazard, claiming there was no room for pushing and shoving. When Swain wouldn’t put his arms behind his back, an officer punched him once, distracting Swain and getting leverage to pin his arms.

Attorney: Aurora has ‘pattern’ of force, bias

Swain’s lawyer, Adam Frank, said the punch was unnecessary.

“Sadly, we’ve seen this story over and over again,” Frank said. “It has been well-documented and admitted that Aurora has a pattern and practice of racially biased policing and that Aurora has a pattern and practice of using excessive force.”

The Aurora Police Department released a statement in response.

“The use of force incident referenced in the civil complaint filed occurred more than two years ago on Jan. 20, 2021. The incident was captured on several body-worn cameras and was appropriately documented,” interim Aurora Police Chief Art Acevedo said. “All video evidence and reports were thoroughly reviewed by the Aurora Police Department, and the actions of our officers were found to be within policy and the law. In the spirit of transparency, we have released the videos and reports to our media partners so our community can make their own assessment. Due to the pending litigation, the department will not be commenting further.”