‘I’ll make your life a living f***ing hell’: Aurora police sergeant placed on leave for cursing at teen during traffic stop

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Screen shot from a police body cam video provided by Aurora police department depicting a woman being arrested and handcuffed.

AURORA | An Aurora police sergeant has been placed on administrative leave following a June traffic stop in which he repeatedly swore at a teenage girl whom he had detained on suspicion of driving over the speed limit.

An internal affairs investigation has been initiated into Sgt. Ed Acuti, who repeatedly swore at a 17-year-old girl who was crying and pleading for her mother while handcuffed, according to body-worn camera footage released Wednesday. The girl, whose identity was not released, also swore back at Acuti and screamed repeatedly at other officers who were restraining her.

The investigation, which formally alleges Acuti engaged in unprofessional behavior by a supervisor during a traffic stop, was started after another officer reported their concerns to superiors, police said.

The incident began at about 8:30 p.m. June 29 near the intersection of Airport Boulevard and East Second Avenue, where officers from the department’s gang unit stopped the girl’s red sedan on suspicion of speeding. The car belonged to the girl’s mother, according to Francisco Saucedo, spokesperson for the Aurora Police Department.

While officers were questioning a male passenger in the stopped car, he sprinted away and ditched a stolen and loaded handgun on the ground. Acuti appeared to trip on a curb where the male jettisoned the weapon, according to his body-worn camera footage.

As Acuti returned to the girl’s stopped car and began to enter the weapon into evidence, he got into a heated exchange with the teenager, who remained at the scene and repeatedly screamed for help while handcuffed.

“This is what ya’ll do, this what ya’ll do — ya’ll kill people,” the girl screamed. “Call my mom.”

The girl then apologized, saying that she was worried about an injury her infant son had recently sustained.

“You’re old enough to drive a car without a license, you’re old enough to have son — act it,” Acuti can be heard telling the girl, moments after they both yelled “f*** you” at one another.

“You think I’m out here playing f***ing games? You’re out of your f***ing mind,” Acuti continued, while putting the recovered handgun into an evidence envelope.

“… Are we f***ing clear? You better keep your f***ing mouth shut. I’ll make your life a living f***ing hell from this f***ing day forward,” he said, rapping the tailgate of the girl’s sedan. “You wanted it, you f***ing earned it. I don’t care how the f*** old you are. Let that f***ing sink in.”

The girl involved in the verbal interaction with Acuti was later booked into the municipal jail on charges of speeding, driving without a license and obstructing a peace officer, authorities said. She was released from custody later that evening.

Police provided no updates on whether the male who sprinted away from officers was ever identified or apprehended.

In a statement, Police Chief Vanessa Wilson lauded the officer who brought the interaction to the attention of her office.

“In every interaction, we must strive to treat individuals with respect and remain professional,” she said. “I commend the officers that are unwilling to compromise their integrity and continue to report misconduct that jeopardizes the work we, as an agency, are trying to accomplish with our community.”

Officials have not specified when the results of the internal probe into Acuti’s actions may be released.

Acuti has been with Aurora police since 2005, according to Saucedo.

The incident marks the latest instance of unwelcome limelight for the local department, following a report released by the attorney general’s office last month that claimed the department has for years engaged in racially biased policing and the recent indictment of the three officers who detained Elijah McClain before he died in August 2019.

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Dan jones
Dan jones
1 month ago

Recovered stolen semi-automatic hand gun with extended magazine!

The Sgt. May have prevented another shooting or homicide! He was being passionate about guns in the wrong hands.

Instead of putting him administrative leave maybe they should be thanking him!

doug
doug
1 month ago
Reply to  Dan jones

Still don’t get it do you? As a police officer you don’t have the privilege of speaking to citizens like he did. And a supervisor at that. Nope!

chris higgins
1 month ago
Reply to  doug

The hell he doesn’t , she’s resisting , screaming and cussing . He did just what he should have , he’ll be exonerated and back on the job!

Avoiding Racist Abuse
Avoiding Racist Abuse
1 month ago
Reply to  Dan jones

This is not about the kid who ran away. If you read the whole article, it is about a cop who could not control himself and acted unprofessionally.

I notice you completely skipped over the actual reason why he is on leave. It is clear that people like you will give a pass to ANY police behavior.

These are civilian police officers who are accountable to the entire community. This APD officer is not granted the power to be abusive. Period.

doug
doug
1 month ago

One question I was asked in 1972 when applying for the Montgomery County police department in Maryland was what would I do as an officer if I were to be cursed at, called names etc during the course of my duties. Need I say what the correct answer was? Professionalism!!!

Avoiding Racist Abuse
Avoiding Racist Abuse
1 month ago
Reply to  doug

Who cares about professionalism when we can just cheer on cops who abuse citizens? /s

Citizenuknow
1 month ago
Reply to  doug

Doug you don’t get it. You obviously didn’t get the police job in 1972, or in any other year. It’s easy to judge “your response” to this situation from the couch in your nice comfy home when you’ve never experienced a day as a cop. The sergeant shouldn’t have used the string of profanity, but he also should not have to deal with being distracted by a loud mouth snot nosed punk kid, who was knowingly driving an armed convicted felon around the city, when a gun was just found and the situation was still volatile. She acted like a fool, and in the real world, Doug, cops sometimes can’t say the PC words you think cops should be limited to using. Certain people in society, of all races and gender, do not understand, or comply, to nice PC words all the time. The chief has once again shown she has no integrity nor supports APD officers. She has bowed down to the PC crowd, and would rather suspend or fire an officer then looking deeper into the situation. Long ago when wilson was a command officer on the road, and was getting her butt kicked by a suspect, who she now works so hard to protect, she sure didn’t have any problems of the force and words used by officers that night to save her hide. Look in the mirror wilson, maybe you should fire yourself…

Publius
Publius
1 month ago

Kudos to Chief Wilson for demanding professionalism from her Officers. As a professional herself I am certain she can understand that in a weapon scenario a professional Officer can and will still experience an adrenaline rush and might, for a brief time, be a bit conlated in affect and language. Is that admirable, no. Is it within the understandable range of behavior of a professional, probably yes. What does his history tell us. Was his behavior typical or atypical, based upon the scenario? If atypical, if scenario dependan,t and all we are looking at is some conflated language I woud hope this public servant woyuld be given consideration and not only allowed, but encourged to continue his career.

FeelingsAreNotFacts
FeelingsAreNotFacts
1 month ago

Context is key here. Her companion raised suspicion when he fled and tried to dispose of a stolen, loaded weapon. He could have been more “diplomatic.” But criminals rarely respond to “pretty please.”

Avoiding Racist Abuse
Avoiding Racist Abuse
1 month ago

Diplomatic to who? The 17 year old didn’t run. She was being arrested already. You truly believe that police officers are sworn to swear at and threaten the civilian population?

Guess what? Police ARE supposed to be diplomatic. It’s part of being a professional. There are RULES that guide this profession. Acting like a thug and cursing people out is not part of the job.

Frank Mundy
1 month ago

In my family we call “paid leave” vacation. “Hey momma grab the kids I just got suspended for a coupla weeks, Disneyland here we come!”
Punishment? huh? Please Boss punish me!

Jimmy
Jimmy
1 month ago

While the conduct of the officer could have been more professional, he’s confronted with a passenger who drops a loaded, stolen gun, that flees the scene. On top of that, he knows the driver doesn’t have a license. Why aren’t people defending the police on this? The officer could have been killed. He should have talked the driver down, but honestly, the nation has gone off its rocker thinking the driver is an innocent at the hands of brutal policing.

Avoiding Racist Abuse
Avoiding Racist Abuse
1 month ago

The APD is hotbed of unprofessional thugs who need to be weeded out.

The companion has nothing to do with it. This is about a cop who was embarrassed that he tripped and lost the suspect. So, what does he do? Does he just complete his task? Nope. He gets into it with a 17 year old. A grown ass man gets into a verbal altercation with a 17 year old girl who is already being arrested.

And guess what else? He DECIDES to use his power as an officer to further threaten her. He used the power granted to him with MY TAX DOLLARS to curse out a kid and promise to harass her in the future.

White men commenters are hot to defend this behavior. They think it is manly and tough. They want to be the ones with a gun sticking it to mouthy non-whites who are always criminals who deserve to be assaulted. They take these idiotic stances because they know the APD would never mete out that sort perverse justice on them. They know the APD only assaults those who they know have no power to get justice against bad behavior. White police officers don’t beat other white men out of courtesy and fear that they will be held accountable.

Newsflash: Police officers are held to a higher standard than the average couch jockey. If they cannot control themselves they should find another job!

NOYB
NOYB
1 month ago

When Acuti gets shot and killed–inevitable, given his disposition–I will not shed one tear. This cop is a demonstration for defunding the police.

Vic
Vic
1 month ago

Should the officer have held his temper during this situation? Maybe. Should all police officers be sworn at and cursed by law breakers resisting arrest, especially when armed with intent to harm the public and possibly commit murder? I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes. If the officer wasn’t using excessive force then I could care less that they “curse” at the perps. From my childhood and as a veteran I learned respect for figures of authority. This is an example of massive media-induced hysteria and rampant disrespect for laws that now infiltrates todays youth to hate authorities and tread on our society! We should NOT use kid gloves with law breakers! I’m hopeful the APD will continue to get these thugs off of our streets before they hurt innocent people! I support our Law Enforcement.