Cops arrested after compliant black suspect choked and pistol-whipped

Officers John Haubert and Francine Martinez of Aurora, Colo., were charged respectively with felony assault and misdemeanors related to her alleged complicity after their bodycams filmed Haubert beating, choking and pistol-whipping local man Kyle Vinson.

The officers, called out on a trespassing report, had detained three men nearby and were checking for outstanding warrants. Two ran but Vinson remained and, the cameras show, Haubert launched into a vicious beating. A report concluded that "Vinson did not show any signs of physical resistance", even when Haubert strangled him until he was unconscious.

After it became clear Haubert was to be charged, he resigned.

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.

The choking and the beating are the crimes, but the way Officer Haubert holds his gun sideways against Vinson's head—the gangland execution fantasy it represents—will make your skin crawl.

Haubert is the blow. Martinez, who failed to report the incident and covered for him, is the weight behind it.