Attorney Accuses Aurora Police Of Assaulting Unconscious Man

Rickey Burrell Plans To File Federal Lawsuit Against City Of Aurora Monday, Attorney Says

An Aurora man plans to file a federal lawsuit Monday accusing three Aurora police officers of assaulting him while he was unconscious after a seizure.

Rickey Burrell and his legal team will announce the lawsuit filing outside the Aurora Police Department at noon Monday, according to Burrell's attorney, Mari Newman. The lawsuit will name as defendants the city of Aurora and three police officers, Brandon Rinnan, Darren P. Chamberland and Darryl D. Huntsman, Newman said.

On Dec. 18, 2010, Burrell suffered a seizure and a family member called 911 for medical aid, Newman said in a statement Sunday. The attorney said the three police officers named to be named defendants were the first to arrive at the scene.

The officers found Burrell in bedroom, lying face down, unconscious on the bed, Newman said.

"Inexplicably," Newman claimed, one officer jumped on Burrell, driving his knee into the man's back and twisting Burrell's wrist behind his back.

A second officer grabbed Burrell's other wrist and wrenched it behind his back, Newman said.

"Despite the fact that Mr. Burrell was still laying face down and motionless on the bed, the two APD officers used excessive physical force to handcuff him," she said. "Mr. Burrell, in great pain, wearing nothing but soiled underwear from his seizure ... regained consciousness and cried out in pain. Mr. Burrell implored for the officers to stop hurting him."

According to Newman, the officers dragged Burrell downstairs in front of his daughter, niece and grandchild, "causing him further pain and great humiliation." Despite the mid-winter weather, the officers took Burrell outside handcuffed in his underwear, the attorney claimed.

"Rather than provide Mr. Burrell with needed medical care, these APD Officers attacked Mr. Burrell, fracturing his right wrist and worsening preexisting injuries to his right shoulder and back," Newman said.

Newman said the officers' conduct follows a Police Department pattern of "unconstitutional detention and use of illegal excessive force."

Aurora City Attorney Charles Richardson said the city has a dramatically different view of what happened that day.

“They assert a pattern of Police Department conduct; we assert a pattern of an excellent, professional, responsive Police Department," Richardson told 7NEWS.

He said the police responded to a 911 call from a family member expressing concern about Burrell’s "actions."

“We diverge greatly on what happened between the time when officers arrived and when he was transported," Richardson said.

The city received correspondence from Burrell's attorneys a couple months ago, Richardson said. The City Attorney’s Office investigated the allegations and determined the officers' actions were appropriate. The city declined to enter into settlement negotiations, he added.

“We support the officers 100 percent," Richardson said.

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