More Local Tales of Police Brutality

September 2010

It's getting to the point where you have to wonder whether ordinary people are a little afraid of the Denver-area cops who are supposed to protect them. Two more cases alleging police brutality made the headlines today, including one involving, yet again, the Denver Police Department.

Rohit Mukherjee claims that officer Abbegayle Dorn and two male officers, who were responding to a noise complaint in April, used excessive force in breaking up a party. Dorn, who appeared in 2008 on American Gladiators, a show where contestants engage in entertaining combat, allegedly choked Mukherjee by pushing his neck to the door after he hesitated to come out in the hallway and then forced him to the ground face first, dragged him on his face, and then stood on his ankle, according to CBS4. When partygoers took pictures and video with their phones, the suit claims, Dorn took them and destroyed them in a bowl of water. Among other claims, Mukherjee, who is of Indian descent, claims an unnamed officer at the Denver County Jail called him a "[expletive] Arab." Police tell The Denver Post that an internal investigation is underway, declining further comment.

A second CBS4 story highlights another brutality lawsuit against the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office. Diann Lindquist, a lawyer, alleges that in 2008 she was wrongly arrested and beaten with a flashlight after she was in handcuffs, an incident that caused permanent injuries to her wrist. Lindquist was arrested at a dinner party in Centennial when two people started yelling at each other. Lindquist says deputies confronted her at the time, accusing her of being drunk. "A person would normally scream for the police if they were being assaulted. The problem is since it was the police who were assaulting me, I didn't know who to scream for," she says, adding that she was found not guilty in a criminal trial for disorderly conduct interfering with an investigation.

Westword last week analyzed the trend of alleged police brutality, noting that while Denver may be at the top of the national list for excessive force complaints, the incidents may be part of a widespread upward trend in police violence against suspects.