A man at the center of police body cam video that has gone viral says authorities acted the way they did in “retaliation” for him not showing them his identification.
James, who doesn’t want his last name publicized, was waiting for an Uber outside of a Wheat Ridge Bar on May 1.
“At 2:25, I called an Uber,” he said. “At 2:27, Wheat Ridge police showed up and started harassing me.”In the body cam video, two officers pull up asking the 53-year-old what he is doing. James repeatedly answers that he has called a ride-share. When he is asked to show identification, he refuses.
“I believe in the Bill of Rights,” he said. “I didn’t feel there was justification. I wasn’t committing any crime.”
Eventually, James was handcuffed and placed in the back of a patrol car.After close to 20 minutes, officers are able to unlock James’ phone and verify an Uber ride is indeed on the way.
James is eventually released and allowed to jump into the ride-share and arrived home safely.
Wheat Ridge police maintain two state statutes allow them to legally operate as they did. Statutes that allow peace officers to detain anyone suspected of committing a crime or anyone who is intoxicated or inebriated. In the latter case, citizens can be detained in an effort to transport them to a detoxification center.James is exploring the possibility of hiring an attorney.
“As far as I’m concerned,” he concluded, “They were holding me hostage in the back of the police car and weren’t gonna release me until I complied.”
Watch the video below: