Denver May Pay Black Man $100,000 After Cop Says He 'Looks Like A Turd'

The city of Denver will pay a Black man $100,000 after a police officer called him a "turd" during an arrest, according to NewsBreak contributor David Heitz.

Keilon Hill filed a lawsuit against two Denver Police Department officers, Thomas Ludwig and Gary Yampolsky, the county, and the city after he was unlawfully arrested on April 27, 2020, KUSA says. Hill reportedly called 911 after he was involved in a minor car accident on Interstate 25.

Body camera footage obtained by FSAction9 shows Hill, who just declined to go to the hospital, exiting the ambulance to discuss the crash with cops. That's when Hill spotted an officer searching his vehicle.

"Hey, why are you in my car? That's not a warrant to search my car," Hill asks while approaching his vehicle.

"I smelled marijuana. That's why I'm in your car," Officer Ludwig responds. Hill gets close to the cop, saying that's not proper grounds to search his car, and that's when both officers grab the driver and placed him in handcuffs.

When Hill questions why he was under arrest, Ludwig asked him why he was "being an a**hole," according to the lawsuit. The filing also alleges Ludwig told Yampolsky Hill "looks like a turd." They also accused him of being intoxicated, which Hill denies in the footage.

"The facts in this case present a veritable cornucopia of constitutional torts, as though the Denver Police Department ('DPD') were attempting to violate as many of Plaintiff Keilon Hill's constitutional rights as possible in a single encounter," the lawsuit says, per KUSA.

Hill ended up charged with interference with police authority, a violation of city code, and later released from jail on bond, according to reporters. He pleaded not guilty to the charges, and the court dismissed the case.

The Rathod Mohamedbhai law firm, which represents Hill, released a statement when the lawsuit was filed in February:

"As disturbing as this case is, it is not unique. Denver has a long history of racially profiling minority citizens and retaliating against citizens who criticize their conduct. Rather than exercising restraint, Denver Police officers routinely respond with force and unlawful arrests, and then fabricate charges to cover up their illegal conduct. Mr. Hill files this lawsuit to seek justice for the violations of his constitutional rights, and to show Denver and the world that racial bias and retaliation for protected First Amendment expression are still routine practice in Denver and across the nation."

While the Denver Department of Public Safety defended the officers' actions, they did admit the nasty comments were "inappropriate":

"The Department recognized the language used by Officer Ludwig was inappropriate and he was counseled and reminded to maintain his professionalism during the course of his duties," according to a statement released in February.

Heitz says the Denver City Council will likely approve the $100,000 settlement on Monday (July 18).

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