Video Released of David Hulstedt Shot in Back, Then Dragged 400 Feet on Knees by Scottsdale Police
After writing Tuesday about the troubling case of David Hulstedt, the mentally ill man shot in the back by Scottsdale police, we obtained the full video (see below) of the incident from Hulstedt's lawyer.
Recorded by Hulstedt's neighbor through a screen, the video shows what happened during and just after the 2008 shooting. Watch as Scottsdale police shoot Hulstedt, handcuff him, then drag him on his knees 400 feet across rough ground and asphalt.
Hulstedt's suing for $40 million even as he still faces criminal proceedings stemming from his treatment of his 2-year-old daughter.
U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow ruled last week in the lawsuit that Scottsdale police used excessive force on Hulstedt, shooting the unarmed man without warning.
Though police supposedly wanted to protect Hulstedt's daughter during a 90-minute standoff at Hulstedt's north Scottsdale home, shooting Hulstedt caused him to drop the girl. She suffered a skull fracture but was released from the hospital a few days later. Hulstedt was rendered a paraplegic.
Scottsdale has appealed Snow's ruling for summary judgment on Hulstedt's claims of excessive force and battery, and it'll be a while before a trial takes place.
Snow wouldn't grant summary judgment on the claim that dragging Hulstedt was also excessive force -- but Snow wouldn't dismiss the claim, either. A jury would have to figure out whether dragging Hulstedt was reasonable, Snow wrote.
One of the officers who'd dragged Hulstedt said he knew the man's knees were on the ground, but that his priority was to get the shooting victim over to medics at the scene as quickly as possible.
Image: Michael Pospisil shot this video, which is now evidence in a $40 million lawsuit. David Hulstedt was dragged 400 feet on his knees after being shot in the back. His knees required "extensive medical attention."
"The dragging resulted in 'gaping wounds in David's knees' that required extensive medical attention," Snow's ruling states.
Scottsdale police defended the action, saying Hulstedt didn't say he was being harmed as he was dragged, but Snow called that defense "irrelevent."
"Presumably, David failed to complain about the damage to his kneecaps because his spinal cord had been severed when he was shot in the back, thus rendering him unable to feel the pain associated with his injury," Snow wrote.
Snow's ruling also blasted police for searching Hulstedt's home without a warrant after shooting him. The warrantless search wasn't justified and the officer who conducted it aren't immune from liability in the lawsuit, the judge ruled.
Police declined to comment.
Meanwhile, the criminal case against Hulstedt remains ongoing, with a status conference between lawyers held just this morning. In December, Judge Samuel Thumma remanded the case back to the grand jury, saying the panel hadn't been informed properly in 2009 about Hulstedt's wish to testify before them. Hulstedt was originally indicted on suspicion of child abuse and kidnapping.