Aurora Police Officer Fired for Failing to Intervene in Colleague's Violent Pistol-Whipping, Strangulation of Black Man

Francine Martinez had been placed on unpaid leave and charged with failure to intervene in the wake of the violent July 23 arrest.

An Aurora police officer has been fired after she failed to intervene when a fellow officer assaulted a black man with his pistol and choked him during an arrest last month.

The officer, Francine Martinez, was also charged with not intervening in the violent arrest of Kyle Vinson, 29, last month after bodycam footage captured her colleague, John Haubert, assaulting, strangling and threatening to kill Vinson during his July 23 arrest.

Bodycam Footage Captured Haubert Assaulting, Choking Vinson During Arrest

Francine Martinez
Francine Martinez (left) and a still from the bodycam shows officer Paul Haubert strangling Kyle Vinson during the July 23 arrest. Twitter/YouTube

As previously reported, Martinez were responding to reports of a trespassing when they found three people sitting on a nearby curb, according to the arrest affidavit. After Martinez learned that the three people had felony warrants, the officers tried to take them into custody, prompting two of the men to flee.

The bodycam footage captured Haubert as he grabbed an unarmed Vinson by the neck and pressed the muzzle of his gun to his head. The officer is also seen repeatedly striking Vinson in the head with the butt of his gun, causing him to bleed profusely.

"You're killing me," Vinson is heard saying repeatedly before Haubert strangles him until his eyes start rolling up and he starts losing consciousness. According to the arrest affidavit, Haubert choked Vinson for 39 seconds.

Paul Haubert
Former Aurora police officer Paul Haubert. Twitter

Haubert and Martinez were both placed on unpaid leave while the internal affairs conducted an investigation into the incident. Haubert resigned amid the investigation into his alleged excessive use of force. He was also arrested and charged with three felony charges of attempted first-degree assault, second-degree assault and felony menacing — as well as misdemeanor charges of official oppression and official misconduct.

Martinez 'Terminated' from the Department Following Investigation

The Aurora Police Department announced on Thursday that Martinez had been "terminated" from the department after the internal affairs investigation found that Francine Martinez violated several directives within the APD, including her duty to intervene. The department said it would not release any other information about the firing while the district attorney's office investigates the incident.

The Aurora Police Department drew national outrage over its involvement in the 2019 death of Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old Black who died after three Aurora police officers confronted him because he looked "sketchy" with a ski mask on his way home from a convenience store. A chokehold was used during the confrontation and he was injected with ketamine by paramedics as previously reported.