This video shows bodycam footage by the Boulder Colorado Police Department which shows a student picking up garbage at his own residence being confronted by eight armed officers.
The responding officer resigned at the conclusion of the internal investigation and the Investigation summary is as follows:
The subject officer’s contact of Mr. Atkinson was permitted as a police officer can contact anyone; however, his stop and detainment were based on Mr. Atkinson turning and pointing to the address on the building. The subject officer’s decision to attempt to detain Mr. Atkinson was not supported by reasonable suspicion that Mr. Atkinson was committing, had committed, or was about to commit a crime, therefore he did not have authority to detain Mr. Atkinson. When Mr. Atkinson walked away, continuing to pick up trash, the subject officer believed he had probable cause to charge Mr. Atkinson for obstructing a police officer. The subject officer did not have probable cause to charge Mr. Atkinson with any crime. The contact evolved into a stop and detainment that caused multiple officers to respond. The subject officer should have ended his contact with Mr. Atkinson as soon as Mr. Atkinson provided his name, address and a brief explanation of what he was doing.
There was no information developed in the investigation that responding officers violated department rules, policies or values. No officer, including the subject officer, used profanity or racial language during this incident. During the subject officer’s interview, he was specifically questioned if his actions were based on Mr. Atkinson’s race and he stated that his actions were not. Mr. Atkinson believes and stated that the subject officer’s actions were based on racial profiling.
Based on a preponderance of the evidence, the subject officer violated department Rule #5 (Police Authority and Public Trust) and Rule #8 (Conduct).
At the conclusion of the supervisor and Professional Standards Review Panel review process, the subject officer, through his counsel, waived the timeframe provisions within the Boulder Police Officer’s Association contract and department policy. He resigned from his position as a Boulder Police Officer before an administrative hearing was held. His resignation is effective May 15, 2019.