WESTMINSTER, Colo. — Dominic Casement says he was already on the ground in handcuffs when a Westminster police officer pistol whipped him on his head and across his chin before kicking his face.
“At the time I got kicked in the face, my face essentially bounced off the ground,” said Casement, who has now filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Roger Stockman and the Westminster Police Department for the Nov. 11, 2017 incident.
Casement was treated for a broken jaw and head lacerations, which required five staples in his head and stitches on his chin.
Casement was the passenger in a stolen car when he was placed into custody by Westminster Officer Scott Holley. Moments later, Stockman arrived and used his pistol to strike Casement in front of officer Holley.
“I tried to cry out, he (Stockman) told me to shut the f**k up and hit me again,” said Casement.
It was Holley who immediately reported Stockman to internal affairs for excessive force.
“That officer (Holley) deserves commendations, he deserves awards, he deserves a lot of credit because that’s true bravery,” said Faisal Salahuddin, a civil rights attorney who represents Casement.
“I give him (Holley) all credit. I think without him, I may have died there that night. He
definitely saved my life,” added Casement.
Westminster police asked Thornton police to conduct an independent investigation. Thornton detectives recommended two felonies for assault with a deadly weapon but Adams County prosecutors allowed Stockman to plead down to misdemeanor assault.
“Roger Stockman got the velvet job every step of the way. As a criminal defense attorney, we know in this state, if you’re charged with assaulting someone with a deadly weapon and you caused them seriously bodily injury, you should go to jail. You should be arrested. You should get a bond,” said Salahuddin, who pointed out Stockman never even had to pose for a mugshot because he was given a summons instead of being arrested.
“I think that definitely shows a double standard in society. I mean, if it had been anybody else besides a cop, they would’ve been thrown in jail with probably an outrageous bond,” said Casement.
The 35-year-old said the unsupervised probation Stockman received hardly amounted to accountability.
“He broke my jaw. It’s out of line completely. I don’t eat out of that side anymore,” said Casement. “I’m terrified of cops. If I ever needed a cop to call for any reason, I couldn’t do so now.”
Stockman was forced out of the Westminster Police Department less than two months after the pistol whipping incident but
the department refused to tell FOX31 if Stockman resigned or was fired.
It took the state of Colorado until September 2019 to revoke Stockman’s certification, ensuring he doesn’t get hired as an officer again.
Stockman did not return FOX31’s calls for comment. He was employed with Westminster police from June 28, 2010 to Jan. 1, 2018.
Sgt. Trevor Materasso told the Problem Solvers Westminster police can’t comment on pending litigation.
The lawsuit criticizes Westminster police for not equipping its officers with body cameras.
In a statement, Materasso said Westminister police are conducting extensive research into the use of body worn cameras.
“Westminster wants to be diligent in our review and analysis before committing substantial tax payer dollars to this program. We are reviewing a number of nationwide studies and comparing those to local facets and considerations to determine if a body worn camera program best serves our community,” Materasso said.