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Former sheriff’s sergeant arrested for using excessive force
The 13-year veteran assaulted an in-custody inmate with a Taser
Boulder County, Colo. – Earlier today, former sheriff’s sergeant Christopher Mecca, 51, was arrested and booked through the Boulder County Jail on the charges of 3rd Degree Assault and Official Misconduct after assaulting an in-custody inmate with a Taser. In addition to being criminally charged, Mecca previously resigned his employment during the disciplinary process, in lieu of termination, for violating a number of policies, including departure
Mecca was one of the on-duty supervisors in the Jail Division just after midnight on Wednesday, September 23, when two Longmont police officers brought in an uncooperative inmate, a 32-year-old black male from Fayetteville, Arkansas, on domestic violence charges. The inmate was reported to have been physically combative while being placed under arrest by Longmont officers and was intoxicated. During transport to the jail, the inmate said he was unsure if he would be cooperative with jail deputies upon arrival.
After arriving at the jail, the man was compliant as he was walked from the Longmont police vehicle to the pat search area, with two deputies, each holding an arm. At the pat search mat, deputies began asking him routine screening questions when he eventually purposely went limp
Mecca self-reported the incident to the nightshift jail commander and was subsequently suspended from duty and placed on administrative leave. Additionally, sheriff’s officials were made aware of what occurred by Longmont police supervisors. An internal affairs investigation was immediately launched, and after a brief review of the initial facts, Sheriff Pelle ordered a criminal investigation occur contemporaneously with the administrative investigation.
A referral to the 20th Judicial District Attorney’s Office resulted in support for criminally charging Mecca with 3rd Degree Assault and Official Misconduct. An affidavit was prepared in support of an arrest warrant, which was later issued by a judge. The warrant had a $1,000 personal recognizance bond. Mecca surrendered and was booked and released through the Boulder County Jail, consistent with local arrest and bond standards. His mugshot is below.
Mecca was hired by the sheriff’s office in March 2007 as a deputy and was promoted to sergeant in January 2018. Mecca has received several honors during his tenure and has no prior disciplinary record, including any allegations of excessive force.
Mecca was afforded all due process rights under sheriff’s policies and resigned in lieu of termination on Friday, October 9, as a result of his flagrant misconduct. Mecca was aware of the policy that prohibits the use of a Taser on a subject in a restraint chair that had been recently implemented, in part, due to the settlement in the Gotthelf claim.
Sheriff Pelle said, “I am deeply troubled about the unnecessary force used, as it is contrary to the mission, vision, and values of what the sheriff’s office stands for. While former sergeant Mecca’s underlying motivation isn’t known, the unnecessary application of force on a person of color is especially concerning
The investigation into this incident is on-going, and while we currently have no indication that the excessive force was racially motivated, based on victim and witness statements, we will continue t
The incident was captured on body worn camera; however, due to the filing of a criminal case, the video footage is evidence and is not releasable by the sheriff’s office due to the pending criminal prosecution. As such, the District Attorney’s Office is responsible to evaluate all applicable leg
The case number associated with this investigation is 20-4264.