WATCH: Charges Dropped Against Las Cruces Cops Who Beat Handcuffed Man in Holding Cell

Nov. 25, 2016

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico – Former Las Cruces police officers Richard Garcia and Danny Salcido, accused of beating Ross Flynn while he was handcuffed in a holding cell, will not face charges, according to documents filed late Wednesday in Third Judicial District Court.

The office of Doña Ana County District Attorney Mark D’Antonio and state Attorney General Hector Balderas on Wednesday jointly filed a notice of nolle prosequi — a dismissal — with the court.

The incident occurred on Dec. 23. 2014, and was captured on surveillance video. It shows Garcia and Salcido entering Flynn’s cell at the Las Cruces Police Department, where a physical struggle ensued. Flynn was pushed, kneed and slammed against a concrete wall by the officers. His skull was fractured in two places, and he sustained a brain hemorrhage.

Garcia went to trial in July on charges of aggravated battery resulting in great bodily harm, but the jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict, resulting in a mistrial. According to the jury votes, it appeared a majority of the jurors were in favor of acquitting Garcia.

The jury foreman told Chief District Judge Fernando R. Macias, who presided over the trial, that 10 jurors had voted not guilty on the charge of aggravated battery resulting in great bodily harm. In a separate poll for the lesser charge of aggravated battery not resulting in great bodily harm, 11 jurors had voted not guilty, the foreman said.

In filing the dismissal, Deputy District Attorney Davis R. Ruark cited the jury’s vote “decidedly in favor of acquittal” as a primary reason for not retrying Garcia or moving forward with Salcido’s trial. The decision was made jointly by the DA’s office and the AG’s office, the document states.

“The evidence against Danny Salcido is virtually the same as was presented in the trial of Richard Garcia. Given the nature of the evidence, the State is unable to reasonably expect a different result,” the filing states.

According to online court records, Salcido’s jury trial was scheduled to begin Dec. 5 with Macias presiding. The charges were dismissed without prejudice, which means they can be refiled in the future.

Garcia and Salcido were fired by LCPD in May 2015 after an internal investigation.

The incident began when Flynn was taken into custody after he was accused of threatening a woman with a firearm at an apartment complex in Las Cruces. He was detained after a combative encounter with several officers that culminated with him being shot with a Taser and he was later taken to LCPD headquarters.

There, while still handcuffed with hands behind his back, he was placed inside a holding cell, where he made repeated complaints about back pain caused by the hand restraints. In one part of the video, Flynn, who had been outfitted with a belly chain in order to alleviate his back pain, can be seen kicking the door. Moments later, and after a brief exchange of words with Garcia and Salcido, the officers entered the cell, when the altercation ensued.

In April of this year, Flynn was acquitted of the two assault charges but convicted on one misdemeanor count of resisting or evading arrest. He was sentenced in May to 364 days of supervised probation.

Flynn and his Las Cruces attorneys, Jeff Lahann and Christopher Cardenas, are seeking a multimillion-dollar settlement in a federal lawsuit against LCPD, the former officers and the city of Las Cruces.


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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5618 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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