AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Kyle Vinson’s violent arrest last month was caught on video by body cameras worn by Aurora police officers.
“I couldn’t watch the entire video,” Vinson said in an interview on Tuesday, 11 days after the July 23 incident.
Former Officer John Haubert was arrested afterwards and charged with assault and Officer Francine Martinez was arrested on charges of not stepping in or reporting use of force.
Vinson says he is recovering, both physically and mentally.
“I’m so blessed to still be here. I thought I was going to die several times,” he said.
According to Aurora police, Haubert and Martinez responded to a trespassing call. As they were checking for warrants the two men who were with Vinson — who he said he knows but not very well — decided to run. Vinson stayed behind.
“Before I knew it I was on my face with a hand to the back of my head and a pistol to my head.”
Vinson said he wasn’t aware there was a warrant out for his arrest.
“I don’t have a warrant,” Vinson could be heard saying in body camera video of the altercation.
That same video shows Haubert repeatedly pistol-whipping, choking and threatening to shoot Vinson.
“You don’t know what to do. I’m just trying to stay alive at that moment,” Vinson said.
His is now the latest in a string of use of force cases involving Aurora police. The death of Elijah McClain in 2019 prompted protests and new policies within the year that are designed to end police misconduct within the Aurora Police Department.
Aurora Police Chief Vanessa Wilson, who addressed the community just days after Vinson’s arrest, said those changes are allowing her to take swift action.
“We are disgusted. We are angry. This is not police work,” Wilson said at the initial news conference.
Vinson says while he appreciates the gesture, he wants to see the kind of change that prevents what happened to him.
“They should do more research on their police officers, go through more training, more psych evaluations. These guys have a badge on and it’s like they run the world. That’s scary. That should be scary to anybody,” Vinson said.
Haubert resigned before the internal investigation could conclude. Martinez remains on leave.