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Denver Police Attempted to Delete Video of Cop Pummeling Unarmed Drug Suspect, Tripping Pregnant Woman

The bystander recording the incident said that police officers threatened to arrest him and seized his device without a warrant.

by Natasha Lennard
Nov 27 2014, 3:55pm

Photo via YouTube/Fox13

Video footage from August showing a Denver cop punching an unarmed man six times in the face and then tripping his pregnant wife has been made public by Fox 13.

According to Fox 13, witnesses and police agree that the man in question, identified as David Nelson Flores, stuffed a white sock into his mouth when he saw an undercover narcotics officer approach his car. The officers pulled Flores from the vehicle, bringing him to the ground.

The unidentified plainclothes cops were then joined by two uniformed officers, Charles Jones IV and Christopher Evans. The video footage shows Evans holding down Flores while Jones proceeds to punch his face six times after audibly yelling, "Spit the drugs out! Spit the drugs out!"

"Those were the hardest punches I have ever heard," Levi Frasier, the witness who recorded the incident on a tablet device, told Fox 13.

A visibly pregnant woman, screaming in Spanish for the officers to stop, can be seen running towards the melee. As she approaches, Jones swipes at her legs, tripping her to the ground — face and stomach down. According to Fox 13, Jones later told a superior he believed the woman was going to kick him.

Frasier said that when police noticed that he was recording, they demanded that he turn over his device and threatened him with arrest. He said that the officers seized his device despite his protestation that they had no authority to do so. He alleges that they sifted through his personal photos and images, and that on returning the tablet, he found that the video of the Flores incident had been deleted. The footage had been immediately uploaded to the cloud, however, and Frasier was able to retrieve it and share it with the media.

Police reports make no mention of deleting video footage. 

Images of Flores's face, also obtained by Fox 13, show him to be distinctly bruised. The suspect was arrested and charged with resisting arrest and two drug felony charges. The pregnant woman, Mayra Lazos-Guerrero, faced charges for obstruction, drug possession, and child abuse because there was a child in the car during the arrest. Following a missed court appearance, Denver police has issued a demand that the two suspects turn themselves in.

Fox 13 reported that the Denver Police Department initially declined an offer to access Frasier's footage. The FBI Public Corruption Unit confirmed that they were investigating both the incident and the Denver Police Department's response to it.

Watch Frasier's video via Fox 13:

Stay tuned in to the state of policing in America with VICE News's Officer Involved blog.