Denver Police seize tablet, delete video of brutal arrest. But it had backed up to “the cloud”.
Late in August, Levi Frasier saw a violent scene unfolding on the street before him. So he decided to use his tablet to record it.
As plain-clothed men repeatedly punch a Latino man in the face, they can be heard shouting: “Spit the drugs out! Spit the drugs out!”
In the background, a woman is screaming “stop” in Spanish. Two uniformed officers rush up and help restrain the man — and knock the feet out from beneath the visibly pregnant 25-year-old. She lands on her stomach and face.
Some 55 seconds later, someone shouted “camera”.
A police officer stormed up to the witness, who was white, snatching his device from his hands and threatens him with arrest.
“When he took it, I said, ‘Hey! You can’t do that. You need a warrant for that!’ and he said, ‘What program did you take the video with? Where is that?’” Frasier later told Fox 31 News.
The police officer proceeded to search through his files.
“The first officer that comes up to ask me about my witness statement brings me to the police car and says we could do this the easy way or we could do this the hard way,” Fraser said.
“It was survival mode. It was like, ‘Okay, I’m going to make it out of here. Not going to go to jail today for something I didn’t have anything to do with,’” Frasier said.
When police eventually returned his tablet, the video evidence was gone.
“I couldn’t believe it. My heart dropped,” Frasier said. “I know I just shot that video, like it’s not on there now?”
Frasier had forgot he’d set his tablet to automatically upload files to the “cloud”, external storage services fed by mobile communications devices such as 4G phone and Wi-Fi links.