Update (5:17 p.m.): Fort Collins Police Chief John Hutto released a statement Sunday evening regarding the arrest video documenting an incident between an Old Town officer and Colorado State University junior Michaella Surat.
Hutto wrote that the video captured on Saturday does not show the full context of the incident, and the full context will not be determined until all the evidence is analyzed by investigators.
“As with most events of this type, the short, publicly-available video does not have the context or content of the full event,” Hutto wrote. “Additionally, rarely in use of force situations is there agreement from all the parties involved as to the appropriateness, efficacy or necessity of its use.”
Hutto wrote that releasing the body camera footage would not be acceptable because the investigation is still open.
“This is an open investigation and to release evidence, absent a truly compelling reason, would not be proper,” Hutto wrote. “I am committed to preserving a process that ensures a fair and impartial outcome. I am equally committed to preserving the rights of both Ms. Surat and the involved officers.”
Hutto wrote that a thorough investigation into the event will be conducted, and the footage captured by the officer’s body-worn camera will be made available to the public when the investigation concludes.
A video showing a police officer throwing Colorado State University junior Michaella Surat apparently face-first into the ground in Old Town gained social media attention on Saturday.
The video, which was recorded by a bystander at the scene and shared on the official Twitter page for Barstool Sports and the Twitter and Instagram pages for Barstool Colorado State, has gained thousands of interactions online.
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) April 8, 2017
According to the Coloradoan officers responded to reports of a “separated disturbance” near Bondi Beach Bar between two men. Kate Kimble, a spokeswoman for the Fort Collins police, told the Coloradoan the girlfriend of one of the male suspects, identified as Surat, “shoulder-checked the bouncer and an officer and then pulled her boyfriend from the area” while officers spoke to employees about the altercation between the men.
According to Kimble officers told Surat that she could go, but her boyfriend was not allowed to leave. Surat allegedly remained at the scene and then physically obstructed and struck the officer, Kimble said.
The Coloradoan reported that the police officer used a “standard arrest control” to subdue Surat. The police uphold that the technique used to arrest 22-year-old Surat was a standard technique and that Surat assaulted the officer prior to being arrested.
According to the Coloradoan the incident between Surat and the officer was captured on the officer’s body-worn camera, but Kimble said the video will not be released at this time as this is still an open case. The identity of the officer has not yet been publicly released. A police supervisor will review the footage from the body-worn camera. The review will consider the use of force as being within the policy and training of Fort Collins Police Services.
Surat, 22, was identified by police and jail records. Surat was booked into Larimer County Jail following her arrest but has posted her $1,750 bond. Surat, who was formally charged with third-degree assault and obstructing a police officer, is due in court on Wednesday, according to the Coloradoan.
Collegian news reporter Haley Candelario can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @H_Candelario98.