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Colorado officer, shown in video punching suspect multiple times, fired for excessive force

Investigations into the incident found the officer did not activate his body camera and "failed to document his justifications for each use of force."
Body camera footage shows a suspect at the King Soopers in Aurora, Colo., on Aug. 10, 2020.
Body camera footage shows a suspect at the King Soopers in Aurora, Colo., on Aug. 10, 2020.Aurora Police

A Colorado police officer was fired Thursday following investigations into an excessive use of force incident in which he punched a suspect multiple times in the ribs and shocked him five times with a Taser before giving any verbal commands.

Aurora police Officer Robert Rosen responded Aug. 10 to a King Soopers supermarket, where another officer requested assistance in arresting a man on trespassing charges, according to a statement from the department. The man was on the ground on his stomach with his arms underneath him, according to police and body camera video worn by the officer who was trying to initially arrest him.

Rosen arrived to the scene and immediately started punching the man in the ribs before saying anything, the body camera video showed. He then deployed his Taser five times, for a total of 27 seconds within two minutes, according to police.

The suspect suffered minor injuries.

"During the arrest Officer Rosen never attempted any lesser means of force nor did he make any attempts to deescalate the situation in accordance with Aurora Police training," the department said in the statement.

Investigations into the incident found Rosen did not activate his body camera during the arrest and "failed to document his justifications for each use of force that he used during the arrest," police said.

Authorities determined he violated use of force, performance, body worn camera, Taser and lawful orders directives given by the department.

In a letter informing Rosen of his termination, police Chief Vanessa Wilson wrote: "Upon arrival at the scene, you did not attempt to deescalate the situation and did not attempt to use lesser means of force throughout the contact. In fact, you further escalated the situation by quickly going hands on with the subject prior to providing any verbal commands."

A district attorney's criminal review returned no criminal charges against Rosen, who had been with the department since 2017. The Aurora Police Association did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

“Members of the Aurora Police Department have been working tirelessly to rebuild trust in our community and I want to thank those officers who do it right everyday. The actions of Mr. Rosen were in direct contradiction of those efforts," Wilson said in the police statement. “The poor decisions he made that day do not meet the high standards that the community and I expect from my officers.”