Why a Jury Sided With the Officer in Alleged Police-Abuse Case

September 2009

Suspended Denver Police Corporal Michael Cordova was cleared of third-degree assault by a jury yesterday after being accused of using too much force against bicyclist John Heaney, who ran a red light near Coors Field, including slamming Heaney's face into the pavement, breaking his teeth, and then wrongly charging the man with felony assault. But the videotape that prompted the criminal charge against Cordova also helped clear him of the misdemeanor charge, eliciting a cheer from his family in the courtroom as the verdict was read. Juror John Mayer, 48, a teacher, says the video led to the not-guilty verdict: "We watched the tape in slow motion to see the details. It was clear that Heaney's face wasn't pushed into the pavement" (via The Denver Post). Cordova refuses to comment on the case. Review the evidence--video by freelance sports photographer Jason Jewett, shot on April 4, 2008--from 9News.