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Crime and Courts

Colorado Springs officer who said “Kill Them All” at protest against racial injustice sued for excessive force

A woman alleges Keith Wrede ambushed her and a friend from behind after police ordered them and other protesters to disperse

By Colleen Slevin, The Associated Press

A Colorado Springs police officer disciplined for saying “Kill Them All” during a livestream of a protest against racial injustice and police violence last year is one of two officers accused of using excessive force on a woman following an earlier protest in a federal lawsuit.

In the lawsuit filed Wednesday, Celia Palmer alleges Keith Wrede ambushed her and a friend from behind after police ordered them and other protesters to disperse on June 2, 2020.

After leaving the demonstration, Palmer and her friend stopped to watch a police officer harassing a young Black man and were hit by pepper spray, leading them both to walk away quickly, the lawsuit said. Wrede then tackled them without warning and slammed Palmer to the ground, causing her head to bounce off the pavement, the lawsuit said. Another officer, Wesley Woodworth, then allegedly jumped on Palmer, grabbed her hair and jerked her head around, slamming it to the ground. The officers’ actions caused Palmer to suffer a traumatic brain injury, the lawsuit said.

Police spokesman Lt. James Sokolik said Thursday that the department couldn’t comment on lawsuits. The city attorney’s office referred questions to the city’s communications office, which didn’t immediately respond to telephone calls.


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