Cases of Interest

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Welcome to the CSPD's cases of interest. When there are cases of interest that are of local or national interest, you will find the redacted copies of those cases here.  The cases included are frequently requested by citizens and/or the media. 

The information from any cases posted here cannot be used to harass, intimidate or seek retribution on any party listed in the case.  All cases are redacted in accordance with the Colorado Criminal Justice Records Act.  There is no charge to view or download any reports shared here.

 

Today's Status: Under Review by the District Attorney’s Office

On November 4, 2020, while investigating a call for service about road rage, two Colorado Springs Police officers were involved in a shooting on Highway 115 near Fort Carson. The suspect, Dean Trasente, died on scene. While typically Body Worn Camera is not released until the District Attorney’s Office has made their final determination, we believe it is in the public’s interest to release the footage. This decision was made in coordination with the District Attorney’s Office as well as the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office who investigated this incident. When the District Attorney releases their findings, we will update this page to include their report.

The below video contains the following:

  • Radio Traffic Audio Between Sergeant Wingert and CSPD Communications (Begins at 00:15) *Note, we have removed blank portions of the radio traffic audio where there is no communication.
  • Corporal Ford’s Body Worn Camera From Beginning of Incident to Rendering Aid (Begins at 06:26)
  • Officer D’Amour’s Body Worn Camera From Beginning of Incident to Rendering Aid (Begins at 10:21)

 

November 4, 2020 OIS Release


 

 

Response to Gazette Aricle

Yesterday night, the Gazette released a story titled, "Internal Investigation Clears Colorado Springs Police Officers of Using Excessive Force on BLM Protester." After reading the article, we as a department feel the need to publicly respond, as the article did not accurately portray the events that occurred. 

At their request, we provided the reporter with full copies of the internal affairs investigation into the use of force in question. The contents inside those documents outlined what occurred, why officers were attempting to clear the intersection, and what took place before, during, and after the interaction with the suspect.

If you were to compare the documents we provided to what the Gazette published, you will see a stark contrast in the tone of the story compared to the facts of the incident. We are incredibly disappointed that the story misled readers by only providing a few fractions of the investigation; thus not allowing our community to make their own fully informed opinion.

We believe our community should be able to make their decisions on our actions based on facts, not an incomplete story.

Some of the contrasts include. Please note, foul language is used in some of the quotes:

What the Story Claims

What Occurred (Corroborated from body worn camera, witnesses statements, etc.)

“The protester was arrested on suspicion of obstructing a peace officer, according to the report, which stated that he had been seen slapping an officer’s arm and cursing at the officers.”

Even after striking and cursing at officers, the suspect still had multiple opportunities to clear the area which was deemed unsafe. Instead the suspect continued to not comply with officers’ lawful orders to leave a dangerous area.

“The protests in Colorado Springs were mostly peaceful throughout, with little property damage.”

We fully acknowledge the protests during the day were peaceful and productive. However, at night during the first week, there were several violent moments.

On the nights the reporter is referring to, there was thousands of dollars of property damage to city buildings, vehicles, etc. There was also an attempted homicide on an officer. We have provided photos and videos we have accumulated from those nights for your view.

“The 29-year-old protester was walking in the road, blocking traffic and ignoring officers’ request to clear the roadway about 12:30 a.m., when Sgt. Troy Bauer ordered for tactical teams to arrest him. After the protester refused to drop to the ground, Officer Robert Comstock fired pepper balls at the protester, striking him in his torso and lower body and causing him to fall to the ground.”

The reporter left out the following quotes of why officers were attempting to clear the roadway. Here are direct quotes from body worn camera footage:

  • 19:52- Sgt. Bauer, “Let’s open up this intersection, let’s get these folks out of here, it’s not safe.”
  • 20:08- Sgt. Bauer, “Those were not officers’ shots, those are not officers’. It is not safe here.”

 

The reporter also omitted the multiple attempts officers made to have the suspect clear the intersection. Direct quotes from that interaction captured on body worn camera are provided below:

  • 20:14- Mr. Salmons can be heard yelling “Were not safe. Fascist fucking pigs” from the middle of the intersection.
  • 20:19- Ofc. Laabs tells Mr. Salmons, “Go home, have a great night.” Mr. Salmons responds by saying, “Go fuck yourself,” and walks into the intersection. Ofc. Laabs tells Mr. Salmons to “Keep walking,” and Mr. Salmons tells him to, “Die in hell.” Ofc. Laabs says, “Keep walking,” again and Mr. Salmons says, “Fuck you.” Ofc. Laabs responds, “Have a good night.”
  • 20:32- A male’s voice can be heard asking loudly, “Who’s shooting?”
  • 20:34- Sgt. Bauer, “You on the corner filming, it’s not safe out here; your safety is your own.”
  • 20:42- Mr. Salmons yells, “You’re a fucking piece of shit. My safety is fine until you show up.”
  • 20:45- Sgt. Bauer tells Mr. Salmons, “As long as you’re moving we are not gonna bother you.”
  • 20:51- Mr. Salmons yells, “Fuck you.” He then starts yelling about being bothered in front of his friends when he was 17.
  • 20:53- Sgt. Bauer tells Mr. Salmons, “Please get out of the intersection we need to get this traffic out of here.”
  • 20:56- Mr. Salmons turns and walks directly into the middle of the intersection yelling, “You are the traffic. You’re the fucking problem.”
"Sgt. Keith Wrede, who under a fake name on Facebook, called in July for protesters to be killed, and Officer Robert Thymian were reprimanded for not turning on their body-worn camera as officers struggled to handcuff the protester, the Internal Affairs report stated."

We understand how these documents can be confusing. Sergeant Wrede and Officer Thymian did not sustain any discipline or official reprimands in this case. It is common practice for supervisors to improve performance with officers through verbal counselings or discussions.

As mentioned all of the statements made in the “What Occurred” section of the chart above are found in the documents provided to the reporter.

For our community, we have provided the following documents below: