Witness Who Filmed Police Attack Sent to Jail
Levi Frasier recorded punching incident on his tablet
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 14, 2014 3:02 PM CST

(Newser) – A guy who filmed an incident of police violence was arrested this week and spent a night in jail—which his attorney says should raise a few eyebrows, the Denver Post reports. "The timing is curious to say the least," the attorney says of Levi Frasier's arrest. The attorney also asks why Frasier, 30, was jailed on charges of driving without a license plate or insurance, which rarely warrant jail time. But a Denver police technician says the arresting officer didn't know Frasier had shot the video. "This isn't a revenge thing," the technician says. The story dates back to August, when Frasier used his tablet to film an officer punching a drug suspect in the face so he would spit up a sock-full of heroin. The officer also tripped the suspect's pregnant girlfriend, reports Fox 31, which broke the story.

Frasier claims that the officer seized the tablet and handed it back with the video missing. Frasier later recovered the video from the cloud and gave it to reporters (see it here, but be WARNED OF VIOLENCE). Denver police responded with a four-page letter, saying the officer punched the suspect to prevent him from choking, and pushed the girlfriend when she tried to intervene. The letter also says Frasier told police that he supported the officer's use of force, and had himself served "a lengthy sentence for numerous charges" including breaking-and-entering and home invasion. A Citizen Oversight Board appointed by the mayor criticized Denver police, saying they "publicly attacked [Frasier's] character" and likely scared off others from cooperating with police in the future. Internal Affairs and FBI investigations are underway.