Back in June, Ron Perea—a fresh-faced, former special agent in charge of the U.S. Secret Service’s Los Angeles division—returned to Denver, where he had worked during the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Mayor John Hickenlooper touted Perea as a more-than-capable replacement for the city’s retiring manager of the Department of Safety, Al LaCabe. But since that time, Perea has come under fire after two particularly high-profile cases rocked the department. In one incident, two men captured video of Denver police officers beating them, yet Perea claimed there was no wrongdoing. And there’s controversy surrounding the death of Marvin Booker, an inmate who was killed in the custody of Denver sheriff’s deputies. In both cases, various religious, as well as Latino and African-American, community leaders demanded justice—and Perea’s firing or resignation. Yesterday, they got what they asked for. Perea, who had refused to fire the two officers accused of the recent brutality, stepped down amid the criticism (via 9News). His resignation is effective August 31.
Hickenlooper released the following statement: “Ron came to Denver with all of the right credentials and experience to lead the Department of Safety. He feels that the events of the past few days have limited his ability to gain community confidence. Ron is a true professional who has spent his entire career unselfishly serving the public and his country. We wish him well as he decides his next steps.” Meanwhile, yet another person has come forward alleging he was wrongly beaten by Denver police, writes 9News, in a separate report. Jared Lunn says a drunk man punched him after accusing him of flirting with his girlfriend in November 2008. When officers approached him, Lunn, a volunteer firefighter, tried to explain to them that he had not been drinking and had just been assaulted. That’s when police began wailing on him, he claims, adding, “It’s like the Wild, Wild West with the judge, the jury, and the executioner right there on the streets.”