GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - The Fruita Police Department has cleared two police officers who were recorded on video detaining a man, with one of the officers appearing to punch the man in the stomach.
In the reports issued on May 16, the department said the man being detained was highly intoxicated and was resisting attempts to detain him. The report said the single punch to the man’s solar plexus area was a “trained and approved weaponless control/distraction tactic”, and the man was not injured.
Police Chief Dave Krouse said at the press conference: "What you see on the video doesn't look good, it never looks good when officers are required to apply force to overcome resistance, and that's certainly never our desired outcome... We do hold ourselves accountable and we appreciate the public holding us accountable and ask that they continue to do that... We did conduct an internal review as well as asked the Grand Junction Police Department to add another layer to our review in conducting an investigation for us as well... Results of both of those investigations showed that the officers acted reasonably and appropriately, in accordance with Fruita police department policies and training... We expect them to use good judgment and act appropriately, and we believe they did so in this case... I think the application of force, while thankfully rarely necessary, is necessary and is deserving of review, and deserving of scrutiny both by law enforcement as a profession and by the public."
Chief Krouse also said they are always looking to make improvements, but do not believe immediate changes need to be made as a result of this incident.