A fired Aurora police officer, who is trying to get his job back, appeared Thursday before the city’s civil service commission and apologized for not rendering aid, over the course of 20 minutes, to a distressed woman who was hobbled in the back of his patrol car.
Officer Levi Huffine was fired, for “severe misconduct,” in February for the August 2019 incident. A video clip of the incident was shown to the commission, which is now considering the matter in a closed hearing.
On Thursday, Huffine answered direct questions during the hearing.
“I’m sorry, it was a mistake,” Huffine said of the incident. “I do regret it.”
Huffine was taking the woman to jail, on suspicion of municipal code violations in connection with a fight, when she was placed in a soft restraint hobble, which controls a person’s ankles and can be connected to a waist chain or belt.
The woman, placed inside the vehicle on the back seat laying on her stomach, eventually slid onto the floorboard on her stomach, compounding an extremely uncomfortable, perhaps dangerous, situation. She pleaded for help, saying she wanted to seat up, that she couldn’t breathe and that her neck was going to break, according to a summary of the incident.
Over a 20-minute period, during a ride to Aurora police headquarters, Huffine did nothing to help her. During the woman’s arrest, police, on body camera video, comment that she is being uncooperative and threatening to escape.
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