The Colorado Springs City Council has approved a $2.1 million police brutality settlement for Dalvin Gadson, a military veteran who was brutally beaten by officers during a traffic stop in 2022. In a statement to NewsOne, Gadson’s lawyers said the settlement is a notice for other officers.

“This settlement should stand as a warning to all those who think their badges entitle them to brutalize the men and women they’ve sworn to protect and serve,” Gadson’s attorneys said. “You are not above the law, and if your own department refuses to hold you accountable, we will.”

When he told his story on a GoFundMe page after the altercation with police, Gadson said he was pulled over on Oct 9, 2022, around 2:30 a.m. as he was giving a stranger a ride to work. Gadson said he was homeless at that time, but the stranger knocked on his car window as he was sleeping and asked him for a ride. As the pair headed to their destination, Gadson said an officer pulled him over and told him his license plate was missing.

“At the time I had it inside of my car in the backseat. It was in the rear windshield area but it slid to the seat area without me knowing,” Gadson wrote. “He then asked Carlos and me for our identification. We complied with the officer and showed our identification cards with no hassle. After checking our credentials, 3 or 4 more squad cars came into the scene after 1 minute or so and 3 or 4 more officers walked to my car.”

The Army National Guard veteran, who served as a helicopter mechanic, said the officers told him to get out of the car and take a DUI test.

“When I asked if I could sit in the car the cops said no and said again I was being detained for a D.U.I. I was scared at this moment and accidentally said No I’m not,” Gadson’s GoFundMe page post continued. “At that moment, one of the peace officers violently grabbed my hand, and my body’s natural reaction was to pull my hand back. I did not think to do this. It was a natural reaction.
The same police officer immediately started punching me in the face while pulling me out of my car.”

The officers faced scrutiny in the following days as video footage showed them laughing and making jokes after allegedly beating the veteran. Police also charged Gadson with second-degree assault on a police officer, resisting arrest, obstructing a peace officer, driving under the influence and driving without license plates. The assault charges were later dismissed. The DUI charge was also dismissed last week after investigators concluded that “there was insufficient probable cause to require a blood test,” according to Gadson’s GoFundMe page.

Gadson has now prevailed after filing an excessive force lawsuit against the Colorado Springs Police officers. Colby Hickman, Matthew Anderson and Christopher Hummel are the officers named in the complaint. Gadson is now awaiting the results of a DOJ investigation.

“Let’s be clear. This is an important day for Dalvin Gadson and for all the people of Colorado Springs. But that doesn’t mean the fight is done,” Gadson’s attorneys said on May 14 per NewsOne. “We will continue working with the Department of Justice in their investigation and we will not stop until justice is done.”