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Off-duty deputy in fight outside Walmart will not be charged

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THORNTON, Colo. (KDVR) — An off-duty Adams County Sheriff’s deputy involved in a fight with two women outside a Walmart last month will not face criminal charges.

In late July, Deputy Ezekiel Spotts was booked in Thornton after a fight outside of a Walmart left two women injured. Following an investigation by Thornton Police, Adams County District Attorney Brian Mason said no charges would be filed.

He said this in a letter released earlier this week, along with a video of part of the fight at the entrance of the Walmart.

The two women involved, mother Linda Hurley and her daughter Erika Smith, are beyond frustrated by this decision. The DA’s letter cites witness statements, which he said are conflicting. He said it’s not clear who was the aggressor in the case.

“I felt defeated, very depressed. We both have suicidal feelings because it doesn’t feel like our lives matter at all — that, you know, he’s a cop, he can do whatever he wants,” Hurley said of learning about the lack of charges.

Still image of surveillance video in the Walmart vestibule depicting the Spotts and Smith confrontation
Still image of surveillance video in the Walmart vestibule depicting the Spotts and Smith confrontation just prior to the physical altercation. (Credit: Adams County District Attorney’s Office)

Video captures some, but not all of the fight

The beginning of the surveillance video shows Spotts leaving the store and coming face-to-face with Smith. The two exchange words. It then appears Spotts pushes Smith, and she retaliates by slapping him twice.

He returns the strike. That’s when Hurley steps in to break up the two, and they walk away, but Spotts follows them. That’s when the video cuts off, although the women and the letter claim there was a second altercation at their car.

Both fights are reflected in the DA’s letter, though, which says: “Unlike the first altercation, there is no conclusive video evidence as to the second incident.”

The district attorney’s investigation found that Spotts was attempting to take photos of Hurley’s license plate, which sparked another physical fight. Hurley suffered a broken nose after attempting to separate the two.

The letter cites medical records that showed evidence of her broken nose but does not say all of Smith’s claimed injuries could be proven. Read the full letter here.

Hurley feels it shows a lack of accountability on all sides.

“Charge both of them, OK? Charge my daughter. Charge him. Fight it out in court. I tried to de-escalate the situation,” Hurley said.

The Adams County Sheriff’s Office said an internal investigation is in the beginning stages. Meanwhile, Spotts is still employed but on restrictive duty.

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