Body camera video showing a Larimer County Sheriff’s deputy tasing a man on Interstate 25 seconds before he was hit by a passing SUV was released Wednesday by attorneys for the man’s family and by the sheriff’s office.
The man, 28-year-old Brent Allen Thomspon of Loveland, died shortly after the incident at a hospital.
Last week, the Larimer County District Attorney’s Office announced that no criminal charges will be brought against Deputy Lorenzo Lujan in connection to the Feb. 18 incident.
On Wednesday, attorneys Qusair Mohamedbhai and Siddhartha Rathod, who represent the Thompson family, released the video.
“No one in their right mind would tase someone on the highway,” Rathod said in a phone interview Wednesday. “The public has a right to see this.”
During a traffic stop on the highway ramp, Thompson took off running after Lujan told him he was being arrested, as seen in the video. Lujan chased Thompson toward the highway, firing his Taser after Thompson jumped a guard rail along the shoulder. Thompson collapsed on the highway.
“Shit, shit,” Lujan says as a vehicle comes down the highway toward Thompson, running him over.
Thompson can be heard moaning as Lujan handcuffs Thompson before he drags him, face down, from the highway lane to the road’s shoulder. Lujan and other deputies on scene alternate performing CPR on Thompson until paramedics arrive. Thompson was taken to the Medical Center of the Rockies, where he was pronounced dead.
Larimer County Sheriff John Feyen released a statement, and body camera video, on Wednesday afternoon.
“We train our deputies to keep the community safe by taking decisive action with the information they have available in the moment,” Feyen said in the release. “However, this profession doesn’t have the comfortable luxury of hindsight, and the tough reality is that unintended consequences can occur.”
Feyen, in the statement, said that he’s met with the Thompson family “and their representatives,” and that “first responders … grieve the loss of life in any situation.
“Nobody wanted this outcome.”
In his excessive force decision letter released last week, District Attorney Gordon McLaughlin wrote that an investigation and review of Colorado law found “there is no reasonable likelihood of success in proving unanimously and beyond a reasonable doubt that Deputy Lorenzo Lujan is criminally culpable for his attempt to effect the arrest of Brent Thompson.”
On Wednesday, Rathod said the decision to not bring criminal charges against Lujan demonstrates “once again that the police cannot and will not police themselves.
“At the time that Brent ran from law enforcement, he was only suspected of committing the crimes of driving with expired registration and giving a false name to law enforcement. The tasering of an individual in the middle of an interstate highway at night is criminal and reprehensible conduct and has no place in law enforcement.”
Rathod described the incident as “negligent homicide” and Lujan’s actions as “criminally negligent” and a “deviation from standard of care.”
A civil rights lawsuit will be filed by the end of the year, Rathod said.
“The Thompson family is left with no choice but to seek justice from a civil jury,” Rathod said.
The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office did not return a phone call seeking comment for this story.
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