Multiple People Are Suing a Colorado Police Officer Over False DUI Arrests
Fort Collins, Colorado is about to face the fallout of a police officers poor actions. The Coloradoan reports that both the city of Fort Collins and one of its police officers are being sued over accusations of false DUI arrests.
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Five people who were arrested over DUIs between June 2021 and April 2022 accuse Fort Collins police officer Jason Haferman of falsifying the arrests. Court documents show a timeline of possible false arrests going back to November of 2020.
The people claim Haferman did everything improperly when he accused and later arrested them over DUIs, from muting or turning off his body camera to improperly administering a field sobriety test. The suits claim that even though blood testing showed there was no alcohol detected in their systems, they were still arrested.
Haferman initially came under scrutiny after one of the five individuals in the suit, Derrick Groves, publicly announced his intention to sue Haferman over his arrest in the summer of 2022. Groves accused Haferman of pulling him over after observing his Tesla overcorrecting while on Autopilot. Haferman mistook that overcorrection for being drunk and arrested Groves.
Things get worse when looking at the other arrests. One individual claims Haferman purposely closed the door of his patrol car on his leg so he would have to go to the hospital for a blood test after the breathalyzer came back negative. Another accused Haferman of forcing him to take a blood test and lying about aspects of the arrest in his report, aspects which his body cam footage contradicts. Still another arrest includes an elderly man who Haferman pulled over for going under the speed limit and mistaking his slow body movements for being under the influence. The man had a dramatic brain injury which explained his body movements. In every arrest where blood tests were given, no alcohol was found in the anyone’s systems.
While Fort Collins police launched an investigation into Haferman’s conduct, which resulted in him resigning from the force in December 2022, one of the men arrested — Harris Elias — says his conduct is part of a bigger problem that needs to be addressed. Elias was falsely arrested twice over DUIs, the other time by an officer from a nearby community.
“For it to happen twice was truly shocking. It’s illustrative of a major problem of the way drunk driving is being enforced in this community,” he told The Coloradoan.
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