A Navy veteran suffocated after a brawl with Aurora police in a case that has escaped public scrutiny

The Denver Post: An Aurora man died last year because he couldn’t breathe after police restrained him facedown, sat on him after a seven-minute fight and then waited three minutes before starting chest compressions when they realized he was unconscious.

Aurora police won’t release body camera footage related to the death despite pledges of transparency when 32-year-old David Baker, a U.S. Navy veteran, died in their custody on Dec. 17.

Baker died after a brutal and extensive fight with Aurora police officerswho had been called to his wife’s apartment for a domestic disturbance. For seven minutes, three officers punched, wrestled and bit Baker outside the Aurora apartment as Baker resisted arrest, including attempting to choke an officer and take one of their batons. One officer used a Taser on Baker 11 times for a total duration of nearly a minute, but the shocks had little effect, according to police documents obtained by The Denver Post through an open records request.

Baker died outside the apartment after several officers piled on top of him as he lay facedown on the sidewalk. The Arapahoe County Coroner found that he died of restraint asphyxia — he couldn’t breathe because of the officers on top of him and the way he was positioned. The coroner ruled the death a homicide and said heart disease and obesity likely contributed to Baker’s death.

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