AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — A Colorado police sergeant is on leave after he launched a profanity-laden tirade at a 17-year-old girl during a traffic stop.
The department released the body camera video from the June 29 incident on Wednesday. (Note: The video contains profanity and is age-restricted.)
Sgt. Ed Acuti was placed on leave after another officer reported his behavior, the department said in a statement, adding that the internal affairs investigation into the incident is near its final stages.
What happens in the video
The department said the incident began when its Gang Intervention Unit stopped a vehicle for a speeding violation.
Once the driver stops, officers request that the male passenger exit the vehicle. He flees and drops a loaded gun, according to police.
The 17-year-old driver, a girl, stays on the scene and is detained. She becomes emotional, crying, screaming and asking police to call her mother. She also repeatedly expresses concern that her son has a gash on his head.
The sergeant at one point yells at the girl to “shut the f— up.”
“Y’all kill people! Call my mom!” she yells at one point. “If I wanted to run, you think I would have pulled over?”
She expresses that she’s scared, and the officer calmly tells her to take a deep breath and relax. “There’s nothing to be scared of,” he tells her.
The girl continues to cry and scream, asking police to call her mom and yelling profanities at the officers. At one point, he point yells “f— you” back at her.
What the officer says at one point:
“You think I’m out here playing f—ing games? You’re out of your f—ing mind, and I’ll tell your mom the same f—ing thing. I’m sure your mom would be real happy that your f—ing man’s got a gun in his f—ing waistband, running around f—ing town. Right? Whose f—ing car is this? Tell me! Whose f—ing car is this? ‘Cause it’s gonna go to the f—ing impound and I don’t give a f— how you get around. Are we f—ing clear? You better keep your f—ing mouth shut. I’ll make your life a living f—ing hell from this f—ing (slams the car with his hand) day forward. You wanted it? You f—ing earned it. I don’t care how the f— old you are. Let that f—ing sink in.”
Aurora Police Department statement
Here is the Aurora Police Department’s full statement on what happened:
“The Aurora Police Department is finalizing an Internal Affairs (IA) investigation alleging unprofessional conduct by a supervisor during a traffic stop. The investigation began after another officer reported the misconduct. After viewing the footage Chief Wilson was deeply concerned by what she saw and immediately ordered the Investigation into the incident and placed the supervisor, Sergeant Ed Acuti, on administrative leave. APD received a request to release the body-worn camera footage of the incident. The footage was released to comply with HB 21-1250 and met the 21-day deadline.
“On June 29, 2021, officers from the Gang Intervention Unit (GIU) conducted a traffic stop in the area of East 2nd and North Airport Blvd for a speeding violation. During the traffic stop, officers requested the male passenger to exit the vehicle. The male ran from officers, and while doing so, dropped a loaded, stolen firearm which Sergeant Ed Acuti recovered.
“The driver of the vehicle was a 17-year old female who remained at the scene. While detained, officers questioned her about her association with the male passenger and the observed violations. Sgt. Acuti yells at the female using profane and unprofessional language not consistent with the training or expectations of an Aurora Police officer. The female driver was transported to the Aurora Jail and released that evening with the following charges: Speeding, Driving without a Valid License, and Obstructing a Peace Officer.
“An officer reported Sergeant Acuti’s behavior, launching an internal investigation. The summary of findings will be available upon completion. Sergeant Acuti remains on administrative leave pending the outcome.
“‘In every interaction, we must strive to treat individuals with respect and remain professional,’ said Aurora Chief of Police Vanessa Wilson. ‘I commend the officers that are unwilling to compromise their integrity and continue to report misconduct that jeopardizes the work we, as an agency, are trying to accomplish with our community.'”