Video Shows Cop Slamming Man’s Head To Pavement, Breaking His Neck

Newly released body camera footage shows a La Junta, Colorado police officer violently slamming a man’s head to the pavement with enough force to break his neck. The officer’s actions left the man, who was never charged with any crime, paralyzed from the chest down.

According to Donovan Duran’s family the young MMA fighter was experiencing a mental health crisis at the time of the encounter with police, which took place in December of 2015.

Over the course of several days Duran’s family called police to help them cope with what they describe as unusual behavior.

The Denver Post reports that Duran was drinking excessively and experiencing bouts of paranoia in the days prior to his injury.

On two prior occasions police had taken the man to a local hospital. On both occasions he was released without treatment.

According to police, authorities were not able to hold him in custody because he had not broken any laws.

The latter half of the body cam video shows officer Vince Fraker speaking with Duran before his arrest. Although it appears that some of the footage has been edited, none of the footage published by the Denver Post shows the man being combative or threatening the police.

The first portion of the video shows the moment that Fraker slams Duran’s head to the pavement. It’s clear that he is severely injured and no longer able to stand or walk.

The video shows Fraker and another officer dealing with Duran’s injuries in a shockingly callous manner, dragging him across the hospital parking lot and tossing his limp body around without any concern whatsoever for his well-being.

Watch the video below, courtesy of the Denver Post.

More than six months later Duran still remains in the hospital. In spite of the brutal treatment he received from police, he was never charged with any crime.

According to the Denver Post:

A grand jury in April found there were no fileable charges against Fraker or another officer involved in the encounter.

The grand jurors wrote in a report that while Fraker was responsible for Duran’s injuries — a fractured neck that left him paralyzed from his nipples down — when he rolled him out of a La Junta police SUV, it “cannot be the basis of any criminal charges.”

Duran’s attorneys have filed a federal lawsuit, stating:

“La Junta Police Department training of officers does not include proper training in responding to calls involving persons in crisis or with obvious mental health problems, including use of force policies and de-escalation strategies.”

The suit goes on to say:

“Fraker’s use of excessive force as described above herein was outrageous and shocking to the conscience, in violation of Duran’s substantive due process rights.”

A spokesperson for the La Junta Police Department states that an internal investigation into the incident is still underway.


Image credit: video screen capture via Denver Post