In July 2016, Joshua Condiotti-Wade of Colorado participated in a public protest with signs that said "Fuck Bad Cops" and "Blue Lives Murder." Commerce City police officer Chris Dickey approached him, accusing him of trespassing and disorderly conduct. A brief interaction led to Dickey tasing Condiotti-Wade.
The New York Post reports that Condiotti-Wade has now received $175,000 in compensation from the city.
According to a lawsuit filed last June, Condiotti-Wade was picketing with another man on a sidewalk in front of the Adams County Human Services Building. Dickey approached the pair, and they asked if they were suspected of criminal activity. Dickey told them that they were trespassing on private property and had been asked to leave. They disagreed, insisting that they were on public property. While this interaction was going on, Dickey asked the men to lower their signs out of fear that they would be brandished as weapons. The situation escalated when they refused to give Dickey identification.
When Dickey moved to arrest them, he tripped. The lawsuit states that Condiotti-Wade ran because he "observed the anger in [Dickey's] eyes and, worried that he could become the next news story about an officer forcibly arresting and beating a citizen." Dickey pulled out his taser during the pursuit and struck Condiotti-Wade in the arm—he would later need to go to the hospital to have a taser barb removed from his limb. Another officer, Ryan Sedgwick, also deployed his taser while chasing Condiotti-Wade.
Dickey's body camera captured the incident dying down after his police commander, Mark Morgan, arrived on the scene. Morgan questioned Dickey's actions in the pursuit. He informed him that Condiotti-Wade had been standing on public property and was protected by the First Amendment right to free speech. Morgan also denied that Condiotti-Wade's actions qualified as disorderly conduct. The more Dickey justified his actions, the more Morgan pushed back.
Dickey eventually cuts the audio to his body camera.
The lawsuit alleged a history of civilian complaints against Dickey in "at least five instances between 2011 and 2014." The alleged complaints involved the use of excessive force during an arrest or contact without any legal reasoning.
Bonus link: It took a jury all of nine minutes to decide that a Michigan man had the legal right to blast NWA's "Fuck tha Police" near an officer. He was on trial after the angry officer ticketed him for a misdemeanor noise violation.
Photo Credit: Screenshot via YouTube/Killmer, Lane & Newman LLP