The Local newsletter is your free, daily guide to life in Colorado. For locals, by locals. Sign up today!
It’s been a pretty bad week for Denver-area police. First, there was the video of Denver Police Capt. Joe Black at Coors Field shoving a slightly slurry, jorts-clad, 22-year-old kid who wouldn’t obey the officer’s order to sit down. That led to an internal investigation and the announcement, via Twitter, that Denver Police Chief Robert White “hears” citizen calls for something to be done about excessive force. The video of the incident went viral, stacking up nearly 250,000 views in less than a week.
Also last week, the city announced a $3.25 million settlement for Jamal Hunter, who was allegedly beaten and nearly killed at the hands of inmates and a rogue guard at the Denver jail in 2011. The case helped lead to the resignation of Denver Sheriff Gary Wilson, revelations that independent monitor Nick Mitchell was unaware of scores of uninvestigated allegations of inmate grievances, and calls from a federal judge for the U.S. government to investigate the Denver Sheriff’s and Police Department. Denver Mayor Michael Hancock has agreed that both agencies could benefit from external review.
It’s worth noting that these recent headlines aren’t merely isolated incidents: Denver police have a well-documented history of aggressive behavior. The Denver Post compiled some of the more high-profile settlements of the last 12 years, putting the total at nearly $15 million dollars. Here’s a small sampling of questionable tactics by local law enforcement that have made their way to video.
Editor’s Note: This video has been removed by its original source, but you can still watch it here.
Follow AJ Vicens on Twitter.