On August 14 undercover police in Denver targeted suspected drug dealer David Flores for arrest. Flores allegedly put a sock full of heroin in his mouth. Uniformed cops showed up to help in the arrest and one of them punched Flores six times in an effort to get him to spit the drugs out. When cops saw a bystander recording the incident with his tablet, they seized it. When they returned it to the bystander, Levi Frasier, the video was deleted, but a few months later he realized the video had been uploaded to a cloud.
He made the video available to Fox 31 in Denver, which did not release it in its entirety because it shows undercover cops on tape. Fox 31 reports on its contents:
The videotape shows [Officer Christopher] Evans holding down the suspect's legs. A burly undercover officer can be seen bear-hugging Flores, lying on his side on the asphalt parking lot. Flores has his hands pinned behind his back.
[Officer Charles] Jones can be heard yelling at Flores to, "Spit the drugs out! Spit the drugs out!"
When Flores fails to open his mouth, Jones punches him with a closed fist six times in the face.
The video shows the suspect's head bouncing off the pavement as a result of the force.
While Jones was punching Flores, the video captures the loud sounds of a woman screaming in Spanish for police to stop.
A few seconds later, a visibly pregnant woman approaches the area where the officers are on top of Flores. Jones reaches out and sweeps her feet out from under her.
It appears on video, the woman, 25-year-old Mayra Lazos-Guerrero, falls hard on her stomach and face.
Jones reported to a superior he thought the woman was going to kick him.
Frasier disagrees with that and describes the punches he saw thrown: "Those were the hardest punches I have ever heard. I've seen some people get punched in the ring and on TV and whatnot, but the sound of those resonating, I mean, it was scary. I've never heard anything louder than that and I used to cage fight for quite a while and I've never seen punches harder than that."
The police department defended the cop's decision to punch Flores, saying he was trying to get the drugs out of his mouth, prevent him from choking, and worried another officer was being hurt because his arm was stuck under Flores.
The FBI is now investigating the incident, including the deletion of Frasier's video.