A bad cop runs for sheriff in Colorado. Specifically, bad cop Darian Dasko. Last year, Dasko traumatized Brittany Gilliam and her family. He and four other officers had mistaken Brittany’s car for a stolen vehicle. Nevertheless, that’s not preventing Dasko from running for sheriff. Still, there’s one thing this bad cop can’t claim: qualified immunity. Not in Colorado.
Per VICE, Darian Dasko used excessive force on Brittany Gilliam and her family outside a nail salon. First, he ordered them out of their car. Then, he made them lie facedown on hot pavement. Finally, he handcuffed them. Gilliam’s family members ranged in age from 6 to 17. That’s to say, they were children. And they were terrified.
Two hours later, “Dasko realized that he wrongfully identified the family’s vehicle as stolen,” VICE says. “While Gilliam’s license plate number matched that of the stolen motorcycle they were looking for, the state of origin did not.”
In response, the Aurora, Colorado, Police Department punished Dasko and his colleagues. Specifically, the department suspended them for 160 hours. In addition, Dasko “lost his position as a field training officer.” However, Colorado’s attorney general, Phil Weiser, eventually cleared Dasko for his wrongdoing.
Now, Darian Dasko is running for sheriff in Las Animas County, Colorado.
Not everyone is pleased with this. Particularly, David Lane. He’s the attorney representing Brittany Gilliam. As it turns out, Gilliam filed a lawsuit after her harrowing incident. “Anyone who has such poor judgment that they would pull a gun on a six-year-old girl lacks the judgment to be the county dog catcher, much less the county sheriff,” Lane said.
VICE observes that Brittany Gilliam’s lawsuit is especially important. As the media outlet explains, “this is the first example of an individual suing… law enforcement since the state prohibited the qualified immunity defense.”
What’s more, Gilliam’s lawsuit has gained national attention. Legal experts, lawmakers, and law enforcement agencies are “keeping an eye” on the case. After all, Darian Dasko might have the ability to run for sheriff in a small county. But he’s not above the law in the state of Colorado. That’s very much worth noting. “Gilliam’s case,” VICE concludes, “could signal that peeling back qualified immunity is a worthy venture.”
Read the entire article on the bad cop running for sheriff in Colorado here.