Video shows Fort Collins officer throw woman to the ground outside church

Local News

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (KDVR) — An arrest of a woman behind a Mennonite church in Fort Collins has prompted a complaint from the American Civil Liberties Union.

FOX31 spoke with the pastor of the Fort Collins Mennonite Fellowship, who filed the complaint with the ACLU.

Pastor Steve Ramer said this arrest invited violence on this pacifist place of worship.

“Use of force by the police needs to be monitored,” Ramer said.

What the video shows

“She was in obvious distress,” Ramer said, “pacing around, walking, not very comfortable at all.”

A surveillance camera overhead captured video of the woman surrounded by medical personnel and other people.

“They got her to agree that they could give her a shot or something to help calm her down,” Ramer said.

Later in the video, an officer entered the frame and gave orders to the woman, who appeared to resist.

Ramer recalled the officer’s actions after this — all of them captured on the surveillance video.

“(He) threw her up against the building in the corner there, and then took her and threw her headfirst down into the stoop,” Ramer said.

“Is this necessary,” Ramer asked, “because, again, she’s very young, very small woman, he’s much larger than her.”

Ramer said he sent the complaint to the ACLU, after sending a complaint to Fort Collins Police shortly after it happened.

“I’ve never heard anything else back from any, anyone in the police department since that,” Ramer said.

Police: Review ‘consistent with our policies’

Police provided clips from their body cam, but the images from his surveillance camera were enough to convince Ramer to take action on his own.

“I also was very troubled by what I thought was very unnecessary use of force,” Ramer said.

Fort Collins Police Service issued a statement on the incident saying, in part:

“Patrol supervisors reviewed this case in accordance with our policies, and our leadership team reviewed it as well. No formal complaints were made to our agency, and this level of review was consistent with our policies. As the ACLU has now filed a complaint on behalf of Mr. Ramer, internal affairs will conduct an additional review.”

Another aspect to consider in this case, police told FOX31 this call initially came in as a mental health case but was elevated to priority because of the woman’s behavior. That was actually done by medical staff on the scene.

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