Ex-officer gets probation for holding Black man at gunpoint, kneeling on neck
66-year-old Scott Gudmundsen, a former policer officer, held Barry Wesley and another and accused them of being members of antifa and terrorists.
An ex-police officer in Colorado has been sentenced to probation after holding a Black man and his colleague at gunpoint.
The Denver Post reported 66-year-old Scott Gudmundsen held Barry Wesley, a Black college athlete at Colorado State University, and another person at gunpoint as they traveled door-to-door as a roofing salesman last June. According to the report, Gudmundsen knelt on the neck of Wesley with a gun jammed into his back and claimed both men were terrorists and Antifa. He allegedly said he would not kill the football player, but that the police would.
“I can still feel how hard and how fast my heartbeat was,” Wesley said in court Tuesday. “I can still remember the amount of adrenaline in my body… I was certain my death was going to be another hashtag, another reason for people to protest, because it was clear that to Mr. Gudmundsen my Black life did not matter.”
Gudmundsen pleaded guilty to a single felony count of menacing with a weapon and was not indicted on hate crime charges, even though requested by Wesley’s lawyer, Qusair Mohamedbhai. Eighth Judicial District Court Judge Michelle Brinegar sentenced Gudmundsen to probation, instead of a two-and-a-half-year sentence to community corrections.
“There is no justice I can give that is adequate to the victims in this case,” she said, and addressed Wesley directly according to the news outlet. “This is the best I can do. And I really do feel this is the most appropriate sentence to honor the trauma you’ve endured.”
Gudmundsen entered his own apologetic statement and cited side effects from a a knee surgery for causing his behavior.
“I’m trying to scratch my head and figure out what happened and why I acted the way I did,” he said. “…I’m horrified by my behavior. The anesthesia I was under apparently had a lasting effect on me and I was strange in the head for about six weeks… I apologize to the victims. I’m sorry.”
His public defender Ryan Markus claimed Gudmundsen experienced a mental health emergency. According to the report, Gudmundsen has post-traumatic stress disorder, suffered a traumatic brain injury, and experienced delusions.
“I truly believe that Mr. Gudmundsen was suffering from mental health issues,” Markus said. “That he acted on training he had had for years, much of which has since been changed, and rightly so.”
According to 9 News, Gudmundsen was armed with two weapons and more than 150 rounds of ammunition on him when police took him into custody last spring. The police report cited mental health red flags in the days prior to the incident and arrest. He faced two counts of felony menacing and two counts of false imprisonment.
The outlet reported his wife informed law enforcement that “seems to be having a mental break over the past two weeks.”
During an interview with police at the time, Gudmundsen shared his alleged belief of the victims activities and thought the two men were visiting certain homes “because people with American flags usually had guns and they were casing houses,” according to the police report.
“It is important to note during our conversation with Scott he told me he warned the two men if they came back ‘into his network’ that ‘they would not survive,’” the police report stated. “He then corrected himself and said ‘I did not make a death threat or anything, but said it will not turn out good for you.’”
According to the police, Gudmundsen needed medical attention twice after he was jailed, and he “did not really seem to understand what was happening” following his arrest.
While on probation, Gudmundsen will not be allowed to possess weapons, use alcohol or drugs, and is required to undergo mental health treatment, the Denver Post reported. His sentence also carried a 90-day jail term, was credited with time served after he spent nine months in jail while the case was pending. He also will be monitored by GPS for three and six months and required to complete 100 hours of community service.
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