Colorado sheriff's office sued as video shows cops tasering woman even after tying her up in a chair
Lauren Gotthelf, who was arrested for allowing her service dog off the leash, sued the Boulder County sheriff and five deputies for use of excessive force and disability discrimination.
A Colorado sheriff's office is being sued after a woman claimed that they used excessive force on her and tasered her though she was already in a restraint chair with her hands strapped behind her back, and her head was covered with a spit hood.
The incident unfolded after Lauren Gotthelf, 34, was taken to the Boulder County jail on November 25, 2017, when she refused to sign a ticket handed to her by a Boulder County Sheriff's Office deputy for smoking at the Pearl Street Mall and allowing her service dog off the leash.
In bodycam footage captured by the camera on Sgt. Chris Reiss, he can be heard telling her she would be placed on suicide watch because of her "suicide statements." "You just said, 'I'll kill myself. I'll just hang myself,'" another officer says.
Gotthelf vehemently denies the allegations and screams, "You guys are nuts," when they inform her she will be placed in a suicide smock. When she demands that they take her to a hospital, Reiss responds, "You're not going to a hospital, you're going on a suicide protocol."
The officers then order her to face the wall of her cell and place her hands behind her back as they get ready to restrain her, with three deputies seen trying to handcuff her. She's put in a chair and has restraints placed on her, including a spit hood over her face.
It's at this point that Reiss tasers her on the leg, with the 34-year-old shouting that she did nothing wrong. "You f****** piece of s***. You tasered me for no reason," she angrily says.
The Daily Mail reported that this past Tuesday, November 5, her attorney Mari Newman filed a lawsuit against the Boulder County Sheriff and five other deputies, including Reiss, accusing them of using excessive force and disability discrimination. It also alleges that she was forced to remain restrained for four hours.
The sheriff's office released a statement addressing the lawsuit where they denied the allegations and said Gotthelf had been "disruptive," "argumentative" and "unrelenting," and that she "refused to comply with repeated commands from two separate deputies."
They said she continually made "negative, vulgar, and racist comments to deputies" and yelled "insults for forty‐five minutes" and that Reiss tasered her with the "drive-stun" setting after she continued to be "physically resistant."