Carl Leadholm was in medical distress and needed help when he was targeted by five Commerce City Police officers. However, his innocence and the fact that he needed help was of no consequence to the officers who mistook low blood sugar for a criminal act. This week, Leadholm filed a federal civil lawsuit against the department for the abuse during that stop that left him beaten and in the hospital.
In November 2014, Leadholm’s blood sugar began to drop causing him to swerve while driving. This swerving caught the attention of five of Commerce City’s finest who pulled Leadholm over. However, instead of simply talking to the man and asking him what was going on, they yanked him from the car and began assaulting the innocent diabetic.
“It would have taken a simple conversation and this never would have happened,” said David Fisher, Leadholm’s attorney to CBS Denver. “They admit, we just went up there knocked on the window, pulled him out of the car to the ground, boom- start hitting him in the leg.”
According to Fisher, Leadholm had scratches to his face, baton bruises on his neck; he was pepper sprayed, tased and had two surgeries on a broken finger.
Leadholm would spend several days in the hospital as a result of his injuries only to find out he’d been charged with resisting arrest and failing to yield to an emergency vehicle. All charges would later be dropped.
“They just went straight to force, and severe force,” Fisher said. “It’s just poor training because as soon as the EMTs show up, they recognize the guy has a problem and they immediately start talking to him, he explains he has diabetes.”
Now, two years later, Leadholm is still undergoing therapy to treat his injuries.
Ironically enough, two of the five cops who beat Leadholm down that fateful afternoon had awards from the department for lifesaving, according to online records. Yet, instead of saving Leadholm’s life that day, they chose to attempt to ruin it.
One of the other responding officers was Kevin Lord, who the Free Thought Project exposed last November for dangerously perpetuating the fake war on cops. Lord was arrested last year after it was revealed he faked being shot at during a traffic stop. Lord claimed he was shot at close range while making a traffic stop in the 9700 block of Peoria Street. His bullet-proof vest was credited with saving his life.
He’s since pleaded guilty.
“You can’t have dangerous people like that in police uniforms. When you have officers who are doing the wrong thing and the department knows it, they should fix it,” Fisher said.
The bad apple theory in this incident is entirely inapplicable as the department’s history is clear. Aside from this federal lawsuit, the department is also the subject of a DoJ investigation.
In August, the DoJ announced an investigation into the department for a string of abuses. Aside from Lord shooting himself to incite a fake war on cops, another officer was charged for inappropriately touching three women in his custody.
Because of this recent lawsuit, however, we now see that the abuse is rife and, apparently, department-wide.