Colorado Springs police officers cleared for May 24 in-custody death, no wrongdoing found by district attorney’s office

Police were called to a disturbance between neighbors on May 24.
A still frame from body camera footage a CSPD officer was wearing tied to an in-custody death...
A still frame from body camera footage a CSPD officer was wearing tied to an in-custody death on May 24. Photo courtesy: CSPD.(CSPD)
Published: Jul. 14, 2020 at 7:31 PM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - The Colorado Springs police officers involved in an in-custody death on May 24 have been cleared of any wrongdoing.

The Fourth Judicial District Attorney’s Office released their findings on Tuesday. Click here to read the document.

On May 24, officers were called to a gated community near the Broadmoor neighborhood for reports of a disturbance. There were two 911 calls from residents, according to the district attorney’s office.

“Upon arrival they contacted the [reporting party], who said there was a disturbance going on between two neighbors, and one of those neighbors had brandished a knife,” said Lt. Jim Sokolik with the Colorado Springs Police Department soon after the incident.

Investigators say police tried to detain the armed suspect, who put up a struggle. The suspect was identified as Chad Burnett. At least one officer tased the suspect, who reportedly had a knife, and he went “limp.” Police say officers started CPR and called for medical backup, but the suspect died on scene.

“Due to the substantial amount of time on scene, the most significant events during this incident are shown in the primary video,” police posted online on July 14. “For transparency, the use of force will be played in full. While only one officer’s body-worn camera depicting the use of force is used in the primary video, we have also included the other individual involved officers’ body-worn camera videos showing the use of force.”

To watch a video released by police on July 14 showcasing the timeline of events, including the 911 call and footage of the incident, Click here.

The district attorney’s office “concluded that the force used by the officers during this arrest was reasonable and appropriate and did not even rise to the level of deadly force. There is no evidence of officers using any chokeholds or asphyxiating techniques. Without Mr. Burnett’s severe heart disease, which was unknown to the officers and would not have been physically apparent to them, the evidence indicates that Mr. Burnett would not have died from this encounter.”

Police also provided a timeline of events written out:

9:55 A.M. “Reporting Party #1” calls 911.

9:58 A.M. “Reporting Party #2” calls 911.

10:11 A.M. Officer Diagle and Officer Fleming arrive on scene and make contact with Broadmoor

Information and Security to obtain initial information.

10:19 A.M. Officer Diagle makes first contact with “Reporting Party #1.”

10:32 A.M. Sergeant Inazu and Officer Fleming make first contact with Chad Burnett at Mr. Burnett’s

residence. Officer Diagle stands near garage during interaction.

10:39 A.M. Officer Diagle leaves Mr. Burnett’s residence and contacts “Reporting Party #1” for a second

time to obtain clarifying information.

10:42 A.M. Officer Diagle leaves the residence of “Reporting Party #1” and contacts “Reporting Party #2”

for an official statement.

10:44 A.M. Officer Diagle walks back to Mr. Burnett’s residence where Sergeant Inazu and Officer

Fleming are still speaking with Mr. Burnett through the front door.

10:53 A.M. Sergeant Inazu leaves Mr. Burnett’s residence and contacts “Reporting Party #1” to obtain

additional information. Sergeant Inazu leaves the residence of “Reporting Party #1” when Officer

Fleming airs over the radio that Mr. Brunett is now outside of his residence.

10:56 A.M. Mr. Burnett walks outside of his home with a dowel and uses it to strike a tree. Officer

Fleming and Sergeant Inazu step back as Mr. Burnett approaches.

10:57 A.M. Officer Fleming finds and picks up a knife found in the flowerbed of Mr. Brunett’s house.

10:58 A.M. Officer Diagle re-contacts “Reporting Party #2” to inquire about pressing charges.

10:58 A.M. Mr. Burnett calls El Paso County Sheriff’s Office dispatch.

10:59 A.M. Sergeant Inazu contacts “Reporting Party #1” for additional information.

11:07 A.M. Sergeant Inazu engages in conversation with Mr. Burnett outside.

11:14 A.M. Sergeant Inazu, Officer Diagle, and Officer Fleming re-contact “Reporting Party #1.”

11:38 A.M. Sergeant Inazu, Officer Fleming, and Officer Diagle approach Mr. Burnett outside. Sergeant

Inazu engages in conversation with Mr. Burnett.

11:38 A.M. Officer Barth approaches Mr. Burnett from opposite side of Sergeant Inazu, Officer Fleming,

and Officer Diagle.

11:39 A.M. Officers run towards Mr. Burnett in an attempt to take him into custody. Mr. Burnett runs

inside; he is followed by Sergeant Inazu, Officer Fleming, Officer Diagle, and Officer Barth. Officers give

Mr. Burnett commands during a physical struggle; however, Mr. Burnett will not comply.

11: 39:25 A.M. Officer Barth deploys her taser and Mr. Burnett is brought to the ground; though he is

still struggling as officers attempt to place handcuffs on him.

11:40 A.M. Officer Barth calls dispatch and requests medical to respond for taser deployment. Officers

manage to place handcuffs on Mr. Burnett.

11:41 A.M. Officers search Mr. Burnett for weapons.

11:41 A.M. Officers attempt to escort Mr. Burnett out of residence; however, Mr. Burnett resists and a

struggle ensues. Mr. Burnett, Officer Fleming, and Officer Diagle fall through the front door onto the

concrete landing.

11:42 A.M. Officer Barth leaves residence and moves her police cruiser closer to front door to make it

easier for officers to escort Mr. Burnett.

11:43 A.M. Officers stand up Mr. Burnett in order to walk him to Officer Barth’s vehicle; however, Mr.

Burnett again resists and pushes himself, as well as the officers, back inside the house. Numerous verbal

commands are given during a physical struggle. Sergeant Inazu puts flex cuffs on Mr. Burnett’s to control

his kicking.

11:44 A.M. Mr. Burnett calms down and officers inform him they will carry him out once restraints are


11:47 A.M. Officer Diagle asks Mr. Burnett if he is doing alright and checks to verify pulse. Afterwards, a

spit sock is placed over Mr. Brunett’s head and officers place Velcro restraints on Mr. Burnett.

11:48 A.M. Officer Diagle confirms pulse again.

11:52 A.M. Officers cannot find a pulse. They remove spit sock and start chest compressions. Officers

rotate until American Medical Response (AMR) arrives.

11:55 A.M. AMR arrives on scene.

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