By Brian Maass

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Levi Huffine, the Aurora police officer fired over a newly obtained video, showing a female prisoner handcuffed and hogtied in the back of his patrol car, testified Wednesday in an appeals hearing. He acknowledged there were some things he could have done better during the Aug. 27, 2019 arrest of Shataeah Kelly.

“I could have absolutely,” said Huffine. He said when he first detained Kelly, 28, “I told her to shut up. I told her to be quiet. At that point my main concern was to get her in the back of my patrol car.”

(credit: CBS)

Aurora’s police chief fired the veteran officer after seeing his body cam video which was released publicly for the first time this week.

It shows Kelly, who was arrested on minor charges, handcuffed and hobbled with her wrists tied to her ankles behind her back, slipping off the back seat of Huffine’s patrol car and on to the floor.

For 21 minutes, Kelly is inverted with her feet in the air and her head on the floor.

“Officer please, I can’t breathe,” said Kelly. “I don’t want to die like this. I’m about to break my neck.”

Kelly begs the officer to stop the car and change her position, but he appears unresponsive to her pleas for help.

“My neck is killing me dude. Help me, I can’t breathe.” At one point Kelly, who is Black, can be heard saying, ”I never felt so much racism in my life.”

Kelly, begging and sobbing for help, refers to Huffine as “master.” She says “I beg you master.”

Aurora Police Chief Vanessa Wilson said while the entire tape is troubling, that may have been the worst part.

“As an African-American female, she denigrates herself to the point she actually calls him ‘master,'” said Wilson. “To me that is disgusting.”

Late Wednesday afternoon, Huffine began testimony before Aurora’s Civil Service Commission. They will decide whether to uphold the termination or potentially give Huffine his job back.

(credit: CBS)

“I care about the Aurora community,” said Huffine, who grew up in Aurora.

He told the Civil Service Commission about going to work for the City of Aurora as a teenager on a local golf course, becoming an Eagle Scout, working in a jail and eventually becoming an Aurora police officer.

He methodically began explaining what led to Kelly ending up in the back of his patrol car. He said she had been involved in a fight at an Aurora park and appeared to be the aggressor. Huffine described using a Taser on the woman with little effect.

“She was not obeying my lawful orders,” said Huffine. “My ultimate goal was to place her in handcuffs and take her into custody with the least amount of force, injury,” said Huffine.

But before Huffine could explain what happened in his patrol car, and why, the hearing was adjourned until Thursday morning.

The officer was not criminally charged and Aurora Police Chief Vanessa Wilson explained that was because Kelly did not suffer serious injuries or death.

An internal APD review board recommended a 180-hour suspension for Huffine, but Wilson overruled the board, saying she was sickened by what she saw on Huffine’s body cam.

All criminal charges against Kelly were dropped. CBS4 attempted to reach Kelly by phone and email.

Brian Maass

Comments (8)
  1. CopsAintHelpingThemselves says:

    All the typical right wing haters love this but this guy should have never been hired as a cop. And to disgrace the whole concept of being an Eagle Scout. Here is video proof of his unlawful actions yet some right wing crummy people defend this? He needs to be fired for good . As it is he probably is eligible for his pension anyway since no charges were filed.

    1. Joe Bloe says:

      Once again, you left-wing liberals try to assume what other people are thinking…. Have you ever heard of innocent until proven guilty? Or does that not fit your narrative about all cops being bad? And another thing to think about….how many videos have been released that don’t show all the details before and after the incident? …..of course that doesn’t fit your narrative as well.

  2. fred says:

    this pig should be hogtied placed upside down in the pig car and driven around for the same amount of time

  3. Janet says:

    How on earth are no criminal charges filed against this officer? She spent 21 min inverted on her head with her head on the floor of the back of the police car voicing that she had trouble breathing. Hogtied. That one word should never even be in a police report- with the police officer doing the hog tieing. This is such depravity. She’s a human being and should be treated with respect, criminal actions or not, plus we are supposed to have innocent until proven guilty.

    1. Joe Bloe says:

      Typical liberal. Why don’t you wait for the outcome of the FACTS before stating an opinion. There are many unknowns at this point…and I am guessing more details that you don’t have right now unless of course you need something to justify your rioting.

      1. Meesh says:

        When you deep throat the boot, do you play with the laces as well?

        1. Joe Bloe says:

          What? Try typing a coherent comment. Fool.

  4. TomTancredoFan says:

    “Don’t tase me, bro.” Whoever that guy was (years ago) is the last time a taser worked, it would seem. So many incidents of tasers not working. Are they all made in China? Can some company step up and make tasers that actually work worth a s**t?

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