‘It is evident there was an overreach by our police officers…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) A Colorado father was handcuffed and arrested in front o this wife and 6-year-old daughter for playing tee ball on Sunday afternoon.
Matt Mooney, 33, told KDVR-TV he was outside with his wife and daughter when three officers showed up and informed him he was violating the state’s social distancing guidelines.
Mooney reminded the officers that the official guidelines only prohibit social gatherings of 10 people or more. In fact, a sign at the park states the park is still open to “groups of no more than 4 persons … for walking, hiking, biking, running, and similar activities.”
But the officers demanded his identification anyways. When Mooney refused, they arrested him.
“She’s like, ‘Daddy, I don’t want you to get arrested,'” Mooney said of his daughter. “At this point I’m thinking, ‘There’s no way they’re going to arrest me, this is insane.’ I’m telling her, ‘Don’t worry, Daddy’s not going to get arrested. I’ve done nothing wrong. Don’t worry about it,’ and then they arrest me.”
Former Brighton City Councilman Kirby Wallin was able to record much of the incident, which reveals that Mooney, along with his wife and daughter, were the only people in the public park.
“He’s being taken by the Brighton police for playing softball with his daughter in an empty park,” Wallin says in the video, obtained by KDVR-TV.
Mooney told the station he spent about 10 minutes in the back of a patrol car before he was released. He also pointed out that none of the officers were practicing social distancing.
“During the contact, none of the officers had masks on, none of them had gloves on, and they’re in my face handcuffing me, they’re touching me,” Mooney said.
Wallin slammed the officers for making a stressful time even worse.
“I find it hard to believe with all the things going on in our communities, the only way to resolve a situation like this was to handcuff a father in front of his daughter,” he said.
The police department did later admit wrongdoing.
The Brighton Police Department is currently conducting an internal investigation into what led to officers detaining Mr. Mooney while responding to the complaint,” the department said in a statement to KDVR-TV.
“While the investigation sorts through the different versions of what took place by witnesses who were at the park, it is evident there was an overreach by our police officers,” said the statement.