Michael Clark had put away what authorities called a “club-shaped object” in seconds after two Colorado police officers confronted him at his apartment on the night of May 30, according to a body camera video released Friday. on NBC News.
Clark, 75, according to video provided by his lawyer Sarah Schielke, was shirtless and wearing only boxers. He was also unarmed, police said. Seconds later, former Idaho Springs Police Officer Nicholas Hanning shoots Clark with a stun gun, causing him to fall backwards and hit his head. Hanning and his partner, Ellie Summers, then drag an unconscious Clark by his legs and arms out of his apartment as they handcuff him.
Schielke posted partially blurred bodycam footage this week because she said the district attorney did not. A judge showed body camera footage to Clark, she said Thursday. She also said that “Clark’s health is in decline. The video appears to show that Clark’s interaction with the officers from the moment he opened the door holding what Schielke called a “sawfish type sword,” which Clark almost immediately put away on a cabinet. . stand, at when he was knocked out was less than a minute.
Since then, Clark has remained hospitalized with a stroke, a burst appendix and now potential heart surgery.
Clark’s son Jeremy, 39, called hell almost two months since his father met the officers. A neighbor called police about Clark after he hit a common wall, and they accused him of hitting her, her lawyer said.
Michael Clark has never been charged with any crime, his lawyer said. Hanning, the officer who fired his stun gun, has since been fired and is now charged with assault.
“They assumed things up front from their previous experience and maybe thought they were justified in their actions and brutally attacked someone in their own home,” Jeremy Clark said of the two officers on Friday. .
His voice broke before he started to cry.
“Whether it’s my dad, or someone else’s dad, it scares me. No one should have to worry about someone knocking on their door and opening their door and fighting for their life for two months because they opened their door. How is that fair? “
Idaho Springs Police Chief Nathan Buseck said in an email Friday that Summers, a two-year-old officer, “has received internal discipline and is staying with the department.”
Buseck called the May 30 incident “unacceptable”.
“The Idaho Springs Police Department has taken immediate and decisive action by requesting that an outside agency conduct a criminal investigation into the incident,” he said in a statement. “Former Officer Hanning’s actions do not reflect the culture of our organization. ISPD is an agency that takes great pride in the way we interact with our citizens.
A July 16 police statement said Hanning, who was hired in October 2017, was fired on July 15 and charged with third degree assault.
Hanning’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment and Summers could not be reached on Friday.
Police met Clark at around 10:45 p.m., they said in an initial statement on July 8.
Police said, “The police did not identify themselves as ‘police’ when they knocked on the door. Hanning entered the man’s apartment and a physical altercation, initiated by Hanning, took place. The man then followed the officers’ orders to drop the gun, took a few steps towards the officers, and began speaking with the officers. Hanning finally deployed his Taser, hitting the victim. The victim was neither armed nor in possession of a weapon at the time it was tamped down.
A representative of the 5th Judicial District District Attorney’s Office, to whom police said they handed over the body camera footage, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday.
A judge has ordered prosecutors to release the body camera footage by next Thursday, on condition that all civilians appearing in the video are blurred, Schielke said.
Schielke and Clark’s family said they believed Summers should have been fired as well.
Schielke said her client, who has been treated by medical professionals since May 30, now resides in a 24-hour nursing home.
“He’s a man who is a patriot who loves his country,” Schielke said. “Who believed in the police and their government. What he went through that night changed the way he will see things forever, as long as he has left.
Michael’s daughter Cynthia Clark, 38, explained that she and her older brother were both adopted by their father and mother, who have since died. She and her brother were supposed to come together to celebrate when they became a family, as they do every Remembrance Day. They never had to think about May 31 like in previous years. That day fell a day after police used a stun gun on her father.
“My dad is all we have left,” Clark said.
“I have always been Back the Blue. And I still am. But I’m not Back the bad Blue, ”she said.
Clark said that whenever she saw a video of her father being shaken by electricity, she became more confused as she couldn’t understand “why someone in their right mind thought this was appropriate, justified or acceptable.” “.
She said she would be careful with the police.
“Maybe I’m a little worried,” Clark said. “I know there are some good officers there. But I also know there are bad ones too. And I never thought in a million years that we would see this firsthand. “
Although her father’s health is not good, the encounter with the police did not shatter her zest for life, she said.
“His spirits are good,” she said. “He’s not ready to give up this fight for life and he’s not ready to say he’s done. “