Police Officer Who Threw Women Face First On Ground Cleared Of Any Wrongdoing

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The Fort Collins police officer shown on video throwing a woman face first to the ground during an Old Town arrest has been cleared of wrongdoing.

Officer Randy Klamser returned to full duty Thursday, police said. He had been on paid administrative leave since April 13, days after a nine-second video went viral online showing him throwing 22-year-old Michaella Surat to the brick pavers in Old Town. Police maintained the arrest technique was relatively standard and said the woman had assaulted the officer

Fanned by the power of social media, the video was viewed thousands of times and created an international media frenzy that raised questions about the officer’s use of force.

An internal investigation included interviews with Klamser along with four other officers and three residents, the agency said Thursday. Investigators also reviewed multiple body-mounted camera videos as well as footage from cameras

Findings were then presented to officers of varying ranks — a sergeant, lieutenant and assistant chief. Their recommendations were sent to the Fort Collins Citizen Review Board, which agreed with internal affairs to exonerate Klamser of any policy violations or wrongdoing related to the arrest.

Surat’s arrest took place when officers responded to reports of a “separated disturbance” between two men near Bondi Beach Bar. While officers were talking to employees about the fight, Surat, who was dating one of the men involved, reportedly “shoulder-checked” the bouncer and an officer, and then pulled her boyfriend from the area.

The woman’s arrest affidavit also said she grabbed an officer by the throat, “causing pain.”

Beyond the questions about Klamser’s use of force, the incident involved issues related to the release of officers’ body-mounted camera video in high-profile situations.

Early on, police vowed to release the video. However, law-enforcement agencies maintain releasing footage — regardless of the case — would likely influence the preconceptions of any jury pool that would ultimately determine Surat’s guilt or innocence.