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Family worries for outcome of criminal case against former Idaho Springs police officer

Nicholas Hanning was fired over the May 30 ordeal
Family worries for outcome of criminal case against former Idaho Springs police officer
Posted at 10:54 PM, Nov 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-25 09:26:14-05

IDAHO SPRINGS, Colo. — A Colorado family hoped for accountability after an Idaho Springs police officer tased their elderly loved one. Instead, they feel disappointed and let down.

"The end result of this is we're not going to get any justice," said Sherri Clark, Michael Clark's daughter-in-law.

This week, Sherri Clark said she and her family learned a plea deal with lesser chargers was offered to the officer criminally charged in her father-in-law's case.

"I don't think that's fair for Michael at all," she said.

On May 30, Idaho Springs Officers were called to an apartment complex by a woman who claimed 75-year-old Michael Clark hit her during a noise dispute.

Body camera footage of the incident obtained by Denver7 in July showed officers questioning the woman and then knocking on the elderly man's door. Michael Clark is seen opening the door with a collectible swore in hand and later putting it away after being asked to by officers.

Moments after Michael Clark returns to the door frame of his apartment unarmed, Officer Nicholas Hanning uses a Taser on him. Video later shows Michael Clark being dragged on the floor of the apartment complex.

In a press release from July, the Idaho Springs Police Department announced Hanning had been fired over the incident and charged criminally with third-degree assault on an at-risk adult, a Class 6 felony.

Sherri Clark said she felt the charges should've been greater at the time.

"If this was your father, would you be presenting the same charges?" the daughter-in-law said.

A federal civil rights lawsuit was also filed on behalf of the elderly man over the summer.

The 5th Judicial District Attorney's Office told Denver7 it couldn't confirm whether or not a plea deal had been offered to Hanning but said open cases are subject to change.

According to Colorado law, if Hanning is convicted of at least third-degree assault, he will lose his certification to remain an officer in the state. Each state has their own standards for who can and cannot become officers.

Hanning's next court date is scheduled for Nov. 30. He is also named in another excessive force lawsuit filed back in September on behalf of a deaf man who alleges unnecessary force and wrongful incarceration stemming from a 2019 arrest.