Zach Gifford (2020)
On April 9, 2020, Kiowa County Colorado Sheriff's Office Undersheriff Tracy Weisenhorn initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle for failing to use a turn signal. Gifford was a passenger.
Shortly after the stop, Deputy Quenten Stump arrived. During a consensual search, the officers found a small baggie with white powder in Gifford's pocket and no threatening weapons.
Gifford ran, but was apprehended by both officers, taken to the ground, and tased multiple times. Gifford got away, and officers shot him as he fled. Gifford died at the scene.
The Prowers County Sheriff's Office investigated, with assistance from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation
By April 15, 2020, both officers were placed on paid administrative leave.
On January 12, 2021, Stump was arrested and charged with two counts of attempted second-degree murder and one count of assault with a deadly weapon. The three felony counts each carry a sentence from 10 to 32 years.
Weisenhorn, who fired first, has not been charged. The District Attorney noted that Weisenhorn was not the officer who patted down Gifford, so it was possible that she believed Gifford to be armed.
On March 8, 2021, Weisenhorn was fired.
On October 20, 2021, Gifford's family filed a lawsuit against the officers, claiming violation of Gifford's rights under the Fourth Amendment for excessive force, and against the County and the Sheriff for training and oversight issues.
In April 2022, the county reached a $9.5M settlement with the family which also requires improved use-of-force training.
The incident was recorded by the officers' body-worn cameras.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Susan Greene, Kiowa County reaches $9.5 million settlement with family of unarmed man shot in back by sheriff’s deputies, Denver Post, 2022-04-19
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Susan Greene, What happened to Zach Gifford? A look at a traffic stop turned police shooting in a small Colorado town, Denver Post, 2021-03-18
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Susan Greene, Three Bullets to the Back: How a KCSO Traffic Stop Ended in the Fatal Shooting of Zach Gifford, Kiowa County Independent, 2021-03-11
- ↑ Update--Officer-Involved Shooting in Kiowa County, Colorado Bureau of Investigation, 2020-04-15
- ↑ Affidavit for Arrest Warrant Stump, Kiowa County Combined Court, 2021-01-12
- ↑ Betsy Barnett, QUINTEN STUMP ARRAINGMENT MOVES TO CONTINUATION SET FOR JULY 1, Kiowa County Independent, 2021-06-08
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Gifford v Weisenhorn, U.S. District Court, 2021-10-20
- ↑ Susan Greene, Fatal shooting lawsuit alleges culture of excessive force in Kiowa County, Denver Post, 2021-10-20
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