Colorado officials have released horrific police body camera footage showing the moment a runaway suspect was tasered on a busy freeway, and then fatally run over.
Brent Allen Thompson, 28, of Loveland was stopped by sheriffs on February 18.
He gave them a fake name: when they ran the name through their system and realized he was lying, they confronted him.
Thompson, who was later found to have drugs in his car, took off running across the I-25, with two officers in pursuit.
Thompson jumped the barrier on the side of the road and ran across the grass that separates the two lanes.
He jumped the second barrier to return to the road, and Deputy Lorenzo Lujan tasered him.
Too late, Lujan realized that Thompson was lying in the road: seconds later, as a horrified Lujan yells ‘s***!’, Thompson is run over by a pickup.
Brent Thompson, 28, died on February 18 from being run over after he was tasered by sheriffs
Brent Thompson, 28, is seen on February 18 being pulled over by police near Fort Collins, Colorado
Thompson, who had drugs in the car, took off running away from Lujan
Lujan and his colleague dragged Thompson off the road, and began CPR, carrying on until an ambulance arrived.
One of the EMTs says that he saw Thompson’s eyes flicker, but cannot feel a pulse.
Thompson died in hospital.
Last week, the Larimer County District Attorney’s Office announced that no criminal charges will be brought against Lujan – a decision that angered the Thompson family.
Gordon McLaughlin, the district attorney, said that an investigation and review of Colorado law found ‘there is no reasonable likelihood of success in proving unanimously and beyond a reasonable doubt that Deputy Lorenzo Lujan is criminally culpable for his attempt to effect the arrest of Brent Thompson.’
The family intend to file a civil suit against Larimer County sheriffs, and on Wednesday their attorney, Siddhartha Rathod, said the video was being released to show what had happened.
Rathod said Lujan’s actions were wild and reckless.
‘No one in their right mind would tase someone on the highway,’ he told The Denver Post.
‘The public has a right to see this.’
Thompson was tasered by Deputy Lorenzo Lujan, and run over seconds later
Lujan and his colleague carried out CPR until the ambulance arrived: Thompson was pronounced dead in hospital
Larimer County Sheriff John Feyen said that it is easy to judge with the benefit of hindsight.
‘We train our deputies to keep the community safe by taking decisive action with the information they have available in the moment,’ said Feyen.
‘However, this profession doesn’t have the comfortable luxury of hindsight, and the tough reality is that unintended consequences can occur.’
Feyen said that he’s met with the Thompson family ‘and their representatives,’ and that ‘first responders … grieve the loss of life in any situation.’
He added: ‘Nobody wanted this outcome.’
But the Thompson family said that the failure to bring charges against Lujan showed ‘once again that the police cannot and will not police themselves,’ their lawyer said.
Rathod added: ‘At the time that Brent ran from law enforcement, he was only suspected of committing the crimes of driving with expired registration and giving a false name to law enforcement.
‘The tasering of an individual in the middle of an interstate highway at night is criminal and reprehensible conduct and has no place in law enforcement.’
Rathod described the incident as ‘negligent homicide’ and Lujan’s actions as ‘criminally negligent’ and a ‘deviation from standard of care.’
He added: ‘The Thompson family is left with no choice but to seek justice from a civil jury.’
Brent’s father, David Thompson, said they wanted justice for their son.
‘It hurts us so bad when this DA can sit there and say what, it was a mistake?’ he said.
‘There’s no charges to be brought against this person. There is no justice here.’