Former Officer Francine Martinez
THE THIN BLUE LINE
A former Colorado police officer last week became the first to be convicted by a jury of failing to intervene after jurors found she did not step in when another officer choked a man and beat him with a gun during an arrest in 2021.
Francine Martinez will be sentenced in June after she was found guilty under a police accountability law passed in the wake of the 2020 murder of George Floyd, which made it illegal for officers not to step in when they witness unlawful physical force, according to a press release from office of the district attorney for Colorado’s 18th judicial district..
Martinez was fired after an internal investigation found she violated several department policies during the violent arrest of Black Army veteran Kyle Vinson, according to the Aurora Police Department. John Haubert, who was also charged in connection with the arrest, resigned amid the internal investigation.
The thug that goes by the name, John Haubert
“This should be a wake-up call for all law enforcement officers that the thin blue line of silence won’t be tolerated in Colorado,” Kyle Vinson’s attorney, Siddhartha Rathod, said Tuesday. “Officers have a moral, ethical and legal duty to intervene and to say something when their fellow officers are committing acts of violence or crimes or other wrongdoings.”
Colorado’s “failure to intervene” law also requires all officers to use body cameras by this July, bans chokeholds, limits potentially lethal uses of force and removes qualified immunity from police, potentially exposing officers to lawsuits for their actions in use-of-force cases.
“I watched the majority of it [the body camera video] — not all at once, but it’s kind of hard to take in,” Kyle Vinson told NBC affiliate KUSA of Denver. “I’m just thinking I’m thankful I’m still here, because I thought I was going to die or be another Elijah McClain or George Floyd.”