The following is a statement released by Chief of Police John Hutto regarding this video.
The arrest of Michaella Surat by Fort Collins Police officers has generated a great deal of interest on social media and conversation in our community. I understand and appreciate why this event has sparked so much interest. The incident was partially captured on cell phone video and was also documented on the body cameras worn by the officers on the scene.
As with most events of this type, the short, publicly-available video does not have the context or content of the full event. Additionally, rarely in use of force situations is there agreement from all the parties involved as to the appropriateness, efficacy, or necessity of its use. These questions are only answered through the analysis of all the evidence after the fact.
I have a duty to preserve and protect the processes that our society has put in place to ensure that the questions surrounding this incident are answered in a fair and impartial manner.
I have no control over the video that is already in the public domain, but I do have control over the release of the video evidence from our body worn cameras. This is an open investigation and to release evidence, absent a truly compelling reason, would not be proper. I am committed to preserving a process that ensures a fair and impartial outcome. I am equally committed to preserving the rights of both Ms. Surat and the involved officers.
This event will be thoroughly investigated. The court process will take place and there will be an internal review of the officer’s actions from the perspective of policy and procedure. At the conclusion of these investigative processes, the body worn camera video will be made available to the public.
***[In the early morning hours of April 6, Fort Collins Police officers were dispatched to a separated disturbance between two males. As officers were trying to gather information from employees, one of the involved suspects’ girlfriend, Michaella Surat, shoulder-checked the bouncer and an officer and then pulled her boyfriend from the area. The officers told her that her boyfriend was not free to leave but that she could go.
She remained at the scene, at which time she physically obstructed and struck an officer. Surat was taken to the ground in order to affect the arrest and was booked into the Larimer County Jail on charges of 3rd Degree Assault and Obstructing a Peace Officer. All charges are merely an accusation, and suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty.]