Alex Landau was pulled over for making an illegal left turn and ended up beaten bloody

Trapped in shackles

Wonderin' why, feelin' baffled

I was handed to the system like a ticket in a raffle

Alex Landau wouldn't let paramedics help him until they took photos of his injuries.
anthony camera
Alex Landau wouldn't let paramedics help him until they took photos of his injuries.
Alex Landau wouldn't let paramedics help him until they took photos of his injuries.
Alex Landau wouldn't let paramedics help him until they took photos of his injuries.
Alex Landau's parents say they've lost some of their faith in law enforcement.
Anthony camera
Alex Landau's parents say they've lost some of their faith in law enforcement.

Details

UPDATE, MAY 4, 2011:
City of Denver settles with Landau for $795,000. Landau says "I can move forward." Read More.

VIDEO: Alex Landau rhymes about being beaten up by Denver police. Watch Video.

My brothers and sisters are getting hassled

By a bunch of assholes with badges and needin' counsel

After being falsely accused and abused by these scoundrels

Alex Landau noticed the flashing lights in his rearview mirror right after he turned off Colfax onto Emerson. Landau and his passenger, Addison Hunold, were on their way to the Wendy's just down the street for some late-night burgers, but they never made it there that cold January night in 2009. Instead, Landau pulled his '84 white Lincoln Town Car to a stop near the corner of 16th Avenue and Emerson, and the cop car pulled in behind.

The officer who came to Landau's window said he'd made an illegal left turn and asked for his license and registration. The nineteen-year-old explained that he'd left his wallet at home, but offered his proof of insurance on the car and his Social Security number. The cop took the information back to his squad car while Landau sat in the Lincoln, feeling nervous. They'd just come from a house where folks had been smoking pot. Not only that, but 21-year-old Hunold had a pill container full of weed in his pocket, and there was more in the trunk. Landau had a feeling the telltale odor was in the air.

Sure enough, the cop returned a few minutes later and asked the two to get out of the car to be searched. Figuring it would be discovered anyway, Hunold handed over the marijuana before he was patted down. The cop took the weed and told Hunold to go stand by the front of his cruiser, then asked Landau if he could search his car.

Landau agreed. As the cop rummaged around the seats, two additional officers, a man and a woman, arrived in a second squad car. Once he was finished with the front and back seats, the first cop took Landau's keys and went to unlock the trunk.

Knowing about the weed there, Landau took several steps forward with his hands raised above his head, as if to show he meant no harm, and asked if the officer had a warrant to search the trunk.

According to a civil rights complaint filed in federal court last week, the two cops who'd just arrived — Randy Murr and Tiffany Middleton — grabbed Landau by the arms. The first cop, an officer named Ricky Nixon, looked at Landau and said, "You don't have your license." Then he allegedly punched Landau in the face. The force of the action caused all four to lose their balance, tumbling to the curb, and the cops began pummeling Landau first with their fists, then with a police radio and a metal flashlight.

None of the officers involved in the incident can comment because it's the subject of a recently reopened Internal Affairs investigation, says Denver Police Department spokesman Sonny Jackson.

Landau's version of events is recounted in the affidavit. He heard one of the officers yell, "He's going for the gun!" That he shouted "No, I'm not!" didn't seem to matter, he says now: The beating continued.

Landau, with his face in the gutter and spitting blood, began losing track of everything going on around him. Hunold, by the squad car, screaming at the officers to stop. Additional cruisers arriving from the police station a few blocks away and surrounding the scene. Some of the reinforcements joining in the fracas, others standing and watching. Landau, who was fading in and out of consciousness, remembers one detail vividly: At one point, he felt the cold metal of a service revolver pressed to his head.

Eventually, Landau blacked out. When he came to, he was being dragged out of the bloody gutter. One of the first things he remembers hearing is one of the cops telling him, "Where's that warrant now, you fucking nigger?"

As someone cuffed Landau's hands behind his back, he says, one of the cops told him, "You don't know how close you were to getting your fucking head blown off." By now Hunold was gone, taken away. Landau remembers seven or eight officers around him, chatting and laughing as if nothing out of the ordinary had just transpired.

An ambulance arrived. According to the paramedics' report, they found Landau lying by the curb, bleeding from the head and in "acute distress." The EMTs noted something else in their report: In all capital letters, they wrote that the patient stated "HE DID NOT DO ANYTHING."

Landau wouldn't let the paramedics help him — at least not right away. He didn't want anybody to see to his wounds or clean up the blood before photos were taken.

*****

I'm not the first and I'm not saying they did me the worst

But I'm definitely blessed to take steps on this mother earth

They tried to be covert,

They tried to coerce my witness, making sure his story worked

But y'all can't hide the truth

As I ride the beat I sleuth

To find the clues like detectives do

Lying in a jail cell, Landau was nearly overwhelmed by the smell of the blood-drenched hoodie he'd taken off and was using as a makeshift pillow.

None of it felt real yet. Not the trip in the ambulance, during which he'd gone into shock, shaking violently. Not the cop riding along in the ambulance, who allegedly called him a pussy for refusing to let the paramedics insert an IV into his arm until somebody got pictures of the damage. Not the scene at the hospital where, after a cop finally consented to take photos of his face, Landau let the doctors set his broken nose, see to the concussion he'd suffered and close his head wounds with 45 stitches.

He still hadn't had a chance to survey the damage for himself. Later, when he finally looked in a mirror, the sight would bring him to tears.

But for the moment, here he was, just a couple hours after the January 15, 2009, traffic stop, passing a sleepless night in the Denver jail. This wasn't anywhere the gregarious Landau expected to be. The adopted son of a social worker turned teacher and an environmental engineer, both white, he'd gone to schools for gifted children in the metro area and was now pursuing a degree in business management. When he wasn't busy scribbling lines of poetry and rap lyrics into one of his many notebooks, he was always the first of his friends to lend a hand when somebody needed help, volunteering to drive his classmates to and from the airport in his old, beat-up Lincoln.

But now that he was the one who needed help, who was going to come to his aid?

The next day, Patsy, Landau's mom, got a call from a sheriff's deputy while she was teaching her second-grade class. When she got to the jail and saw her son, "I was horrified," she remembers. Steve, Landau's dad, wasn't much better when he heard the news.

Steve's father and grandfather had both been Denver patrolmen. He'd grown up hearing stories of how his dad had saved lives, watched as he broke up a street fight using nothing other than his commanding presence. One evening in the tense late '60s, Steve's father took him aside. There was talk of a race riot breaking out that night, and the department was putting every cop on the street. Before he left, Steve's dad wanted to shake his son's hand and tell him to take care of his mother if anything were to happen.

Nothing happened that night, but the story was handed down in the Landau household. For a while, Alex had even wanted to be a policeman, and he'd acted like one the day his mom suffered a seizure while the two were home alone. The then-six-year-old Alex had the wherewithal to call 911 and direct the authorities to their mountain home in Conifer, even though he didn't know the exact address.

What had happened to their son at the hands of the cops didn't make sense. "I have to say, this incident strongly affects my impression of what the police were like in the past and what we see today," Steve Landau says. "I had two relatives who were Denver police officers, and I am disappointed that the officers involved couldn't have used the same sort of techniques they used to use to keep the situation under control."

When Alex was finally released from jail two days after the incident, Steve Landau took him directly to the DPD's Internal Affairs Bureau. But the sergeant who took down his story there seemed unmoved by the incident. According to the federal complaint, when Alex Landau told her about being called "nigger," she asked if he really wanted to play the race card.

But as it turned out, the cops apparently weren't above playing the race card themselves.

Alex Landau discovered this several days later when he saw Hunold. It was the first time the two had talked since the traffic stop, and Hunold was wracked with guilt. While Landau was in the gutter, the cops had taken Hunold to the nearby police station — where, Hunold told his friend, everything had gotten weird.

Instead of being escorted to a holding cell, Hunold had been taken into a back office where a bunch of officers were hanging out, acting casual. One guy was shopping for boats on Craigslist. Another cop unlocked Hunold's handcuffs and sat him down in front of a desk. Sitting across from him, a third officer reportedly said, "Your buddy is going to jail for a long time, and if you don't cooperate, you could be pinned with the same charges."

"I pretty much did everything they said," Hunold says now. "I was scared shitless."

At their prompting, Hunold wrote down exactly the statement the cops wanted. "They were leaning over my head, choosing the questions to ask, suggesting answers," he says. Yes, he conceded, maybe he had noticed Landau's arms tense up when the cops first grabbed him. Yes, maybe the officers were trying to calm the situation down, to prevent Landau from doing something.

But there was one point Hunold refused to concede, despite the cops' alleged encouragement: He wouldn't say that he'd witnessed Landau reaching for an officer's gun.

When it was all over, the cops wrote Hunold a $160 ticket for the marijuana and told him he could go home.

"It was so shady that I, a white person, walked out of the police station that night unscathed and Alex almost died because he was beat up so bad," Hunold says. "They let me go because that night I was cooperating with them and they were manipulating me."

One moment at the station particularly stood out, a moment described in the federal lawsuit. At one point, the officer interviewing Hunold asked how he knew Landau. After listening to Hunold describe their friendship, the cop allegedly looked him in the eye and said, "That nigger's not your friend."

First day of class

Face bruised and full of stitches

Good riddance is what they're hoping for

But I'm a motherfuckin' lion

It wasn't easy for Alex Landau to return to school after winter break with a stitched-up, black-and-blue face and a right eye swollen shut. To add insult to injury, the cops had left his Lincoln a wreck. They'd used a knife to slice up an Air Jordan backpack he had in the car, and had torn a notebook of his lyrics to shreds.

But such inconveniences paled in comparison to the fact that five days after the traffic stop, the Denver District Attorney's Office charged Landau with attempting to disarm a peace officer, a class 6 felony that could lead to eighteen months in prison. Landau's case wasn't helped by the police department's Internal Affairs Bureau, which two months later declined to launch a full investigation into the incident after concluding that the actions of the officers involved "were within the policies of the Denver Police Department." Still, when the DA offered a plea deal that would have reduced the felony to a misdemeanor and reduced the maximum time he could serve, Landau refused to take it, deciding instead to fight the charge.

That turned out to be a good move: Despite the bureau's finding, despite the fact that the eight officers on the scene presumably could have served as witnesses, seven months after charging Landau, the DA dropped the case.

By then, Hunold had retracted everything he'd written at the police station, claiming he'd been manipulated by the police into making the statement. And Landau's defense attorney had won a motion to obtain the police documents collected during the Internal Affairs investigation. Those documents included the officers' accounts of what transpired the night of the traffic stop — accounts that seemed to shift in the days following the incident.

According to the federal lawsuit, in their initial reports, officers Nixon, Middleton and Murr said that because Landau flailed and fought against them and appeared to be reaching for Middleton's gun, they were forced to punch him in the face. This did not affect Landau, Murr recounted, so "I reached over and pulled Middleton's flashlight from her gun belt and struck Landau an unknown number of times in the head."

The day after the traffic stop, a detective working on the case wrote an e-mail to Nixon, Middleton and Murr, noting that he'd relayed the facts to Deputy District Attorney Alma Staub and that she had "stated she would reject this case of attempt to disarm a peace officer based on the facts presented and I would need further details on the incident."

Nixon soon responded via e-mail that he'd forgotten something in his earlier report: "I spaced putting this in my statement, but prior to Officer Middleton cleaning the blood off of her weapon, I observed what appeared to be the imprint of the webbing of the hand in blood on the backstrap of her gun, I'm not too sure if this helps out or not."

For her part, Middleton never claimed that Landau touched her gun — but her story of the traffic stop changed in other ways. She initially reported that Landau was "fighting us" and had "pushed all three of us with such force that we all advanced toward the curb" and subsequently fell over — an account that clashed with the descriptions of the other officers, who reported that the group had tumbled over in the give-and-take of the commotion. Later, Middleton e-mailed a "clarification" of her report, stating, "I was never assaulted by Mr. Landau."

Reading through the documents, Landau was struck by what the officers seemed to think they could get away with — and he decided he wasn't going to let them. How many other people had been treated the same way? How many other victims of alleged police misconduct had been slapped with a felony charge and then offered a plea deal they couldn't refuse, thereby losing any chance to complain?

"It's not safe to have people like this who are supposed to be protecting the streets but instead are abusing their authority," says Landau. "There are probably other people who have been in the same situation as me who haven't had any recognition, maybe some who've had it worse. But you can only do this sort of thing for so long before it goes public."

*****

I'm up at 4 am so often

Even when alarms aren't set my clock's poppin'

I'm low key, you know me

Especially when the cops are watchin'

Must be my conscience telling me to stop talkin'

To every one of these strangers who are barkin'

But really aren't involved in the success of my squadron

The Denver-based law office of John Robert Holland has looked into some striking cases in its practice focusing on race discrimination and civil rights abuses. Holland and his partners, Anna Holland Edwards and Erica Tick Grossman, have litigated abuse and neglect at nursing homes, sued the Denver Zoo for working conditions that allegedly left a worker with lung disease, and in 2007 successfully won freedom for a detainee at Guantánamo.

Still, the lawyers were taken aback when Landau came to them last year with his story — and with the photos the cop had taken of his injuries, which he'd obtained during his criminal case.

"Those photographs speak volumes," says John Holland. "One of the things that struck me was when he said he didn't want the paramedics to do anything, and he demanded that photographs be taken before he was treated. It struck me that this was the kind of person who wanted to bear witness that this was done to him."

The firm took Landau's case and this past August delivered a letter detailing Landau's story to Denver City Attorney David Fine and then-Mayor John Hickenlooper, one that included the bloody photographs. Fine agreed to meet with Landau, and not long after that meeting, the DPD's Internal Affairs Bureau opened an investigation into the case, rescinding its decision of more than a year earlier that such an inquiry wasn't warranted.

This wasn't the first allegation of police-department violence to surface in August. One case in particular attracted national attention: In April 2009, Denver cops were captured by the police's citywide video surveillance system using a department-issued weapon called a sap to repeatedly beat Michael DeHerrera, a young man who is the son of a Pueblo sheriff's deputy. Even with that video replaying over and over on television, new Denver Manager of Safety Ron Perea, who'd replaced Al LaCabe, refused to fire the two officers involved in DeHerrera's beating — one of them Randy Murr.

But within a few days, Perea himself had resigned. And in September, City Attorney Fine reported to the Denver City Council that over the past six years, the city had been involved in 63 excessive-force lawsuits against police, for which it had paid out more than $5 million in settlements.

Nationwide, allegations of police brutality are on the rise; according to U.S. Department of Justice statistics, federal cases involving law enforcement authorities using excessive force or violating civil rights increased 25 percent between 2001 and 2007. The National Fraternal Order of Police, the nation's largest police union, has suggested the rise could be due to aggressive post-9/11 hiring pushes, coupled with reduced training standards. Three years ago, the DPD launched its biggest recruiting effort ever, ending up with 65 more officers than it had the budget for.

"It's primarily a white-male police force," says Art Way, director of the Colorado Progressive Coalition's Racial Justice and Civil Rights Program. "It seems like all they want to hire are military types from Montana." The power of the local police union, coupled with cozy relationships between the police department and both the Denver District Attorney's Office and the city's Office of the Independent Monitor, which monitors internal law-enforcement investigations, makes it difficult for decision-makers to come down hard on cops who step out of line, he adds.

"In my mind, Denver has an old-style policing culture," says Joe Sandoval, a criminal justice professor at Metropolitan State College of Denver who monitored police discipline issues first as a member of the city's Public Safety Review Commission and then as the first chair of the commission's successor, the Citizen Oversight Board. "It seems to me that there has been a conscious effort on the part of Hickenlooper, Al LaCabe and [DPD chief] Gerald Whitman to turn the Denver police culture around. But informally, the Denver police are known throughout the metro area by other officers as a place where they knock heads and take names later."

Richard Rosenthal, who's been the city's independent monitor since the position was created five years ago, thinks the recent attention does not reflect a police force out of control, but rather a very transparent citywide monitoring system. "In many other cities, the public would not become aware of accusations of excessive force," he says. "Such cases are dealt with behind closed doors, and quite often there is no public reporting. Denver has chosen to have robust, professional oversight and reporting. I am required to report publicly if I believe a [police administrative] decision is unreasonable, and that will get media attention." Rosenthal, for example, made it clear he disagreed with Perea's decision not to come down harder on the officers involved in the DeHerrera beating.

Whatever the reason, reports of police brutality in Denver are definitely on the upswing. For the past two years, David Packman, a Seattle man who spent a month in jail for first-degree assault before being cleared because of video evidence, has run the National Police Misconduct Statistics and Reporting Project, tracking reports of police misconduct across the country. In September, he decided to look into the reports coming out of Denver. And while he determined that Colorado as a whole fell comfortably in the middle of the national pack in terms of reported police misconduct — in 2009, the state ranked 29th in terms of publicized misconduct incidents per law-enforcement officers — the city of Denver didn't fare so well. Between January and June 2010, Packman found reports of nineteen Denver officers involved in alleged police misconduct, placing the city the sixth-worst out of the 63 police departments with more than 1,000 officers that he tracked nationwide.

The stats got worse when he focused on excessive-force complaints. According to Packman's research, through June of 2010, seventeen officers had been associated with brutality complaints, a higher per capita number than in any other major U.S. city. Adding in the ten officers listed in the highly publicized police-brutality reports of this past August, Packman calculated that Denver had an "Excessive Force Rate" of 2,531 officers involved in excessive-force complaints for every 100,000 officers — more than ten times higher than what he'd determined was the national average.

"I think that surprises people, since Denver is a city that isn't known nationally for having a bad department," says Packman. "You'd think New York, Los Angeles or Chicago would have the most complaints, but that's not the case. Here you have Denver heading up the list."

*****

As the depression started sinkin' in

Relieve my brow of the sweat beats perspiration through my skin

Reflectin' on the hard times that we're livin' in

My family and friends and my next of kin

I wanna believe that we're destined for a change

Strange, funny, how things remain the same, livin' in vain

Alex Landau still bears the scars of what happened to him that January night two years ago — scars beyond the knot of tissue that's formed on his right temple, the lack of feeling he has on one side of his face and the eye that now twitches when he's anxious. There are also the internal scars, the ones that fuel his nightmares of cops beating his friends, the ones that make him nervous whenever he thinks he's being followed by the police.

"The police were threatening his physical existence," says his mother. "I know that's very damaging, and there can be repercussions from that for years to come. It's been a very, very hard period for a long time." It's been hard on Landau's parents, too; Patsy says she now thinks twice before calling the cops. She doesn't have much hope for the DPD Internal Affairs Bureau's belated investigation, either.

"It is extraordinarily difficult to prove an excessive-force complaint against a police officer," says Independent Monitor Rosenthal. "For one thing, the officers have enormous discretion as to how much force they can use. For another, even if you have it on video, it's difficult to prove because of issues of perception and memory and biases among witnesses and conflicting testimony. That makes it extraordinarily difficult to reach a point where you can discipline an officer or terminate an officer.

"The number of sustained cases involving excessive force is minimal," he adds. "It's very rare, and that's not just in Denver, that's all over the country."

Landau's lawyers aren't counting on that investigation to reveal the truth. And so last week, they filed a 37-page federal complaint, complete with pictures, alleging that the actions of Murr, Nixon and Middleton, along with the "dangerous environment of police retaliation" fostered by Chief Whitman and the City and County of Denver, violated Landau's civil rights. "The government was changing hands, it didn't seem like it was a focal point for resolution during the elections, and time was a-wasting," says John Holland. "It was time to file suit."

The morning after that complaint was filed and just hours before news of the filing broke, interim Denver mayor Bill Vidal took advantage of his swearing-in ceremony to address the issue of police brutality — the issue people had most mentioned as a concern to Vidal after it became clear he would be mayor. Asking the city's officers and deputies to "remember the days when you graduated from the academy," Vidal implored them "to continue to serve our citizens with the same optimism and dedication, knowing that the actions you take make a difference in their lives, and to act in a manner that you would be proud of, no matter who is watching."

And while Vidal can't comment specifically on the Landau allegations because the case is under investigation, he says he'd like to wrap up all unresolved cases of alleged police brutality before a new mayor is elected. "Such cases are taking a long time, and it is actually the length of time, in my opinion, that hurts our reputation, because it makes us look like we are stalling," says Vidal. "My hope is we move on these cases appropriately faster, so we can get them resolved in a more timely fashion."

Landau's case might even lead to citywide improvements, suggests Metro professor Sandoval. "This civilian oversight business is ongoing," he says. "It's always developing, it's continuous, and we as citizens of Denver and those on the Citizens Oversight Board and in the Independent Monitor's Office have to be extremely vigilant, because the police are the only entity that has a monopoly on the use of deadly force. These kinds of incidents emerge every once in a while, and they sometimes serve as additional impetus to improve the process further." For example, Sandoval points out, the city's first citizen oversight group, the Public Safety Review Commission, was formed in 1992 after a public outcry over the treatment of fifteen-year-old Jovan Ivory, who said cops had called him racial epithets and kicked and beaten him — and had graphic photos of his injuries.

For his part, Landau is just trying to take one day at a time. He's been writing a lot about what happened to him, trying to process his emotions through his lyrics. "I guess I've felt like I've had a lot to say," he says. "It's definitely helped me incorporate more passion into my music."

And that's helped him keep going. It's like what his English professor, Yvonne Frye, used to tell him: Stick with it, justice is going to come. She said that to him the last time he saw her in October, before she was killed by a drunk driver. He coupled that pain with her advice, and put it into his lyrics:

*****

RIP, Yvonne Frye, who showed me this light in the darkest night

Damn right, we're fam' for life, al'ight

I've grown a lot in the past year

Even though a lot of paths just aren't that clear

Sometimes all I know is to adhere

To my solo isolation

My lyrical combination

A money motivation and no hesitation

Corrupted police beat my face in

With no justification

But that won't stop me now.

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64 comments
kitchenergraffiti
kitchenergraffiti

Take the cops guns away, close the police stations, and then find a new way to enforce laws and protect the people. All police need to be disbanded. Or a new Civil War will start......that's where we're at now. ALL POLICE ARE CORRUPT, and we need to stop paying their wages.

Markdenny
Markdenny

I was in Mobile, Alabama and was horrified at the treatment I was caused by Black Officers not just Whites, but without detail I believe this gentleman is ( NOT ) speaking the truth in full measure here, there are too many things not addressed, Im so tired of the good people getting fooled by their emotions being played upon by bad police AND bad citizens, really there were wrongs on both sides in this issue, I would like to hear suggestions about how to handle an aggressive, citizen thats under the influence of drugs, also how to maybe not put ourselves in these situations so we are not subject to police who are livin on the edge...suggestions like these will help far better than blaming EVERYTHING on others...

Lizzyb
Lizzyb

If you want change you must get involved.

Injustice Everywhere is part of the National Police Misconduct Statistics and Reporting Project designed to analyze and share information about police ...

www.injusticeeverywhere.com/

The website has daily national reports of police misconduct, blogs, graphs and other good stuff

D.G.S.
D.G.S.

I am deeply moved to hear of Alex's courage in the face of abuse and injustice. He has my support and my prayers for his physical and psychological healing. The issue of police brutality is one that should concern all Colorado residents (and voters), and this article is journalism doing its job.

StevenT
StevenT

I was considering moving my family and business to Denver, thanks for helping decide against it.

StevenT
StevenT

I was considering my business and family to Denver, thanks for helping me decide not to.

roger simms
roger simms

I dont buy this story, that he approched the officers looking in the trunk of the care in a non threatening manner, I dont buy he was mister nice guy speaking in an non threatening tone of voice, why are cops all bad, criminals and those criminally minded know how to play the victim, I am astounded of the amount of people in this country dont realize they are being laughed at by guys like this who use the system to be accountable for their actions..it was HE who put himself in this positon NOT the police, but after a moments thought I realize, its not about justice to the officers or the person putting their life on the line, its about self not having to grow up, and instead of being out on the streets high from pot, carrying pot, trunk load of pot, just coming from a drug party, cruising streets high potentially killing the next little ten year old on a bycicle that happens cross this guys path, supporting this guy with tax dollars because he doesnt have a job, paying for his next visit to the emergency room because he doesnt have any insurance, taking care of his children because he wont work so now we are burdened with being assuragate parent to his child ..feeding his freedom of not having to be accountable...the first thing to do in this type of circumstance is ask..ask yourself why should i believe a guy who has pot in the trunk of his car, on his person, in his blood stream, that he responded in a mature orderly fashion to the police....Hell no he didnt he gave them attitude and challanged their authority to stop him from his admitted criminal spree..its not ok to break the law and them threaten the police and expect them to baby you...you scream and yell all you want but this guy has NO accountability and we have to pay for this slob to exist I have a right to make him accountable under my terms or he can leave the country...the only people I see complaining about this are people just like him...no accountability...and oh yes the liberal lawyers that know how to manipulate this kind of story to make a buck...attention to all criminals....Amercia aint taking it anymore..the party is over either become accountable for you actions or leave......

bluebird88
bluebird88

a few yrs ago I was pulled over in Aurora for changing lanes w/out signalling. The cop came up to my window and proceeded to scream at me (white woman, late 30s driving a minivan) for about 5 mins. If he thought I needed a ticket, that's fine. But dont scream at me in front of my kids. I mean, his face was beet red and spittle flying out of his mouth - he seemed nearly out of control. I was stunned, then scared and I just looked at him like a deer in the headlights. Finally, my eyes rested on his badge and I began to memorize the number. Immediately, he shut up, turned around and stalked back to his car.

EyemNotFree
EyemNotFree

They repeatedly tortured me as a child. I learned to remain motionless. The Reagan adminstration kidnapped and tortured me in 1982. They stuck a monitoring device in my back. I want it out. The terrorist government threatens me with death and physically assaults me. My hat is off to anyone who executes my senator congressman or governor

Fallen Angel
Fallen Angel

Hang the officers. There needs to be brutal punishment in society for murderers posing as police officers and servicemen. You pieces of shit, you will get what's coming to you - Karma is real and everyone knows who you are. Many meditate and pray that someone comes along and wipes your entire families and bloodlines out with meticulous accuracy, especially Mr. Nixon. Look at Egypt.. these same murderers and scumbag cops would be hiding like cowards if the riots were in America right now. Shits coming to a head here in America with all these crooked piece of shit cops killing people, and when it finally hits the fan we'll see who's "the fucking nigger" when theyre all hiding for their lives.

AB
AB

John, you were and still are a hero to me...I admire all that you do for people- thanks for all you do!

AB
AB

I was truly sickened when I read this story...and when I saw your face, I could not believe that human beings could do this to one another- it appears you were literally beaten to within an inch of your life- God works in mysterious ways- I am tired of hearing about these stories- over and over again- the cover ups- the abuse...time someone did the right thing- you have many supporters- thanks for being strong enough to do this...you will help many others in the process.

AB
AB

Alex, you are doing the right thing...enough is enough. John Holland represented me in a sickening case that I thought I would never win- you could not have a better team representing you- he is the best of the best- you will be in my prayers- may God bless you and your family and give you strength- right is right, period.

jmpkay
jmpkay

For those thugs, There will come a day.

calhounp
calhounp

I'd love to publish some of these comments in the print edition, in our Letters to the Editor column. If you'd like yours included, I need your full name and town (we don't publish e-mail addresses). Send it to patricia.calhoun@westword.com

DC
DC

This story is disgusting. Alex - thank you for standing up for what is right. Is Denver really that hard up for cops that they have to hire these thugs? And then keep them on the force even after they've proven what wrongs they are capable of? I hope they go to jail for a long, long time and receive the same treatment they've inflicted upon others.

WAYSAWITCH
WAYSAWITCH

ONE LAST POST TO SAY YOU ARE A HERO ALEX AND SO ARE YOUR PARENTS! GOD BLESS YOU AND KEEP YOU SAFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WAYSAWITCH
WAYSAWITCH

I'M SORRY FOR THE VICTIM OF THE CRIMMANALS THAT BEAT HIM AND NOW I'M OFFLINE BECAUSE I CAN'T COMMENT AS I AM CRYING AND CAN'T GO ON AT THIS TIME I AM SO UPSET AND OUTRAGED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WAYSAWITCH
WAYSAWITCH

I AM SO GLAD TO SEE SO MUCH OUTRAGE AND THATS NOT TO BE OVER AND FORGOTTEN IN A DAY OR TWO! WE SHOULD GET ON AND STAY ON THIS CRIME AND DO SOMETHING BECAUSE AMERICANS ARE PAYING TAXES TO GET THEIR PROTECTION NOT GET BEAT UP BY THE MONSTERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Waysawitch
Waysawitch

But thats what they do now, when you are out of your home you are free game to the nazi sickos we call our payed supposably protectors!!!! I have and won,t go out in their city any more than nessasary! we have been controled by fear for to long! if they don,t get you then they do by our kids being kids and open to being their victim and they have you too.. as united states citizens we are being hunted and marked! AND YES IT IS THAT BAD IN FACT IT IS A HIGH ALERT EMERGENCY TO ALL AMERICANS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Reformkycannabis
Reformkycannabis

Breaking the law, yes, so take him to jail, dont beat him to the edge of his life and act like it was OK. And to say he was "high" so how could he remember, just shows the level of true education the typical American citizen has about cannabis. Basically about half of the population, like you, have trusted the lies and misinformation about pot, so lets look at the truth. As soon as he got pulled over, he would have lost any "high" he had real quick, if he was. If that didnt do it, it would have been when he was hit in the face, that would wake up a drunk let alone take away a pot buzz. I believethat he is well aware of what happened and has every right to demand the firing of these cops and even more.

The main point in all of this, Prohibition doesnt work, had it been legal, just like alcohol, that young man wouldnt been able to get it and wouldnt have had it. But would there have been the same outcome? I believe so, becasue they still would have searched him due to the drug war and thinking everyone has drugs on them. Plus he would have still stood up for his rights wanting a warrant for them to look in the trunk. So the cops would have acted the same, stupidly and brutally, so how high he was or wasnt is not the issue here, its the fact that cops have lost sight of their duty, protecting and serving. However, due to the drug war they seek and destroy instead and like so many arrest over drugs the harm that comes from arrest, prison, fines, seizures and in this case life threatening beating, all of this is far worse than the drugs themselves. Its not harm prevention and thats the whole reason for the drug war, seems to me it has failed us all.

Disappoint
Disappoint

Time to spread the word. I'm not going to watch the Denver Police turn into the LAPD. What a joke.

Miss Meliss
Miss Meliss

Shame on you Denver police. Shame. On. You.

El Guapo
El Guapo

Let's see Landau was:1. Driving while high2. Driving w/o a license3. Transporting dope in the trunk of the car

And he can't remember most of the arrest. Except for the parts that make the officers look bad.

Interesting.

Good luck with the Rap career Landau. You're case is going nowhere.

Marggie Cassey
Marggie Cassey

At no time do you suggest this guy could be guilty? I dont understand your quick to judge the officers but not judging the crimminal at the same time. Wouldnt it be fair to judge both with equal prejudice. The guy was doing drugs, The guy had dope on him, the guy had dope in his car, The guy was driving while under the influence,Why do you assume he treated the officers with respect? Why do you assume the officers just wanted to beat him up? From his own words from the onset and from the emergency personel account he didnt want to wipe off the blood from his face because it would make a bigger impact in a picture. Doesnt it sound like the wheels were turnnin in his head. IMO he was caught breaking the law, made him mad, didnt co-operate with the officers, became beligerent then violent and he had to be subdued, his struggle caused the cut on his face.I ask you, could this appear to be something horrible reminding us of the past, yes it could be, or could it be young ones have discovered they can play the system stirring up old wounds from days not completely gone but a lot better than it was, to make it look like they are being victimized just like grandpa ...could it be this?Are you being duped? Willfully ignorant? ..Do you care if you are or not or do you just want to complain?If you wanted justice you would wait for the outcome All are innocent until proven guility including the officers. I ask you, I ASK YOU have you EVER defended a police officer when it was he or she that was done wrong? Have you? If your answer is no then you probably have contempt towards all officers of the law and the law in general. This isnt some soap opera here this is real life, not all people are your enemies, I ask you next time someone threatens your life do you think you could depend upon this guy? or upon the officers that arrested him, remember the guy will probably be at a party and wont give you the time of day but I bet some officer shows up and puts him or herself in between you and the idiot thats trying to ruin your day and if he gives them trouble you will be delighted if they throw his butt on the ground so he cant hurt no one but himself...I can see you now with a real big smile on your face...ok what if this...say it wasnt a traffic stop say as he admitted was high and killed some one with his car would he still be less innocent than your making him out to be...come on...we got to wake up...

Army Ranger
Army Ranger

I'm sorry but do you actually know this guy? I think your just pulling shit out your ass and presenting it as some kinda fact. Police are trained to subdue people with out extreme physical force they also have several tools available such as mace and tasers so please explain what was necessary about beating his face in moron

MDWE420
MDWE420

U MAKE IT SOUND LIKE ALL COPS R GOOD IVE SEEN THINGS COPS HAVE DONE THAT WERE NOT RIGHT NOT EVERYBODY IS A CRIMINAL IT DOESNT MATTER IF U HAVE DONE SOMETHING WRONG THEY STILL SHOULDNT B BEATING ON HIM U NEED TO WAKE UP AND COME BACK TO REALITY

El-Guapo
El-Guapo

"I believethat he is well aware of what happened and has every right to demand the firing of these cops and even more."

Sure. Except for the gaping holes in his story and the fact that his sidekick's story didn't match his. Yeah, other than a few minor details...

WAYSAWITCH
WAYSAWITCH

YOU ARE IGNORANT BECAUSE ITS NOT THE CRIME IT IS THE BEATING THAT IS THE POINT !!!! YOU ARE THE REASON WE ARE BEING BEAT BECAUSE HE ISN'T SAYING HE DIDN'T SCREW UP FOOL HE'S SAYING THE BEATING WAS NOT NESSASRY AND THAT MY FRIEND IS WHERE THEY ARE COMMITTING A CRIME ALSO BUT ARE THEY BEAT ALMOST TO DEATH! AND WHAT????????????

fivexfive
fivexfive

That's right, those three infractions should result in a beating. No wait, it was an accident.

Phathaway17
Phathaway17

No one said that he was driving high. Yes, he forgot his wallet. Sounds like he had a small amount of pot in the trunk--something the cops never charged him with. And it seems that he had remarkable recall for even small details of the arrest. His career is business. The lyrics are therapeutic. Assault/police brutality is very damaging-in fact life threatening. Not to mention the emotional damage. Nixon, Murr, & Middleton made themselves look bad. Which of these officers are you?

Army Ranger
Army Ranger

You are a faggot I'm in the US Army iv had to subdue terrorists In Iraq and afganistan we never had to beat in their faces. Police should be held to a higher standard And by the way pot is legal in colorado I seriously doubt he was High enough to lose control of his car and kill someone you ignorant moron.

Rogersimms
Rogersimms

Is it possible, just possible he was the one who started the fight? and could it be possible the officers in defending themselves he ended up getting hurt? Is that possible? If it is why are you assuming he is totally innocent? Im not taking his side Im pointing out the bigger wrong. the wrong of saying he is innocent and not evan hearing the officers side...your just automatically assuming they GOT to be wrong...cause we all know how they are....I like your words " Not everybody is a criminal " Why are you not applying that to the police officers side also? isnt this unfair ...or no wait ...justice doesnt apply to all people....so lets give it to all in this situation...officers can be victims too and remember crimnals can and do cause some ugly, ugly things and when we joe public have to see the end result ( pictures) we say to ourselves this must be stopped....how? do we let the criminals do what they want? or do we tell the officers to not defend themselves or you and me...do we just let ourselves be beat upon by crimnals so we wont be looked upon as we are being prejudice because we fought back....cause thats where this is goingI aint buyin it man....its time we applied justice all, not just who we chose...

EyemNotFree
EyemNotFree

Exterminate the christian government.My hat is off to anyone who executes my senator congressman or governor or you. Bring the war homeAmericans hate freedom

TWAYSAWITCH
TWAYSAWITCH

Are you really thinking they will fire those animals! NO BECAUSE THEY ARE DOING ANYTHING THEY WANT AND BECAUSE THEY ARE COPS they will ignore it and blame their victim and they our nazi system to back them and laugh because thats how sick it has become! If we were able to get numbers you will see they are set on making us all felons so we can be controled by them and can't do a thing about it! Just know this is just the begining and I can't even begin to tell you how dissapointed and heartbroken I am to see how Americas have allowed it to go this far already!!!!!!!!!!SHAME ON US FOR letting this go on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

El-Guapo
El-Guapo

Nope. But the fact he was breaking the law and was probably high does make me doubt him, you know, just a wee bit.

ralph3153151
ralph3153151

@Army Ranger " You are a faggot" 
ROFLMFAO!!!!! Tell him Ranger!!!!! LOLOL
(best response I've read yet!! Hoo Rahhhh!

R89
R89

Exactly Army Ranger! Plus I have read the case brief and Alex was subject to excessive force! Officer Murr was involved with another beating that same year, quite obviously this is a pattern. Maybe you should get a clue Marggie and realize this isnt Mayberry!

andrea
andrea

hmmmm I wonder if the people of Iraq and Afghanistan see amerikans as terrorists in their country (viet nam, korea, iran, ...). Your arrogance is only exceeded by your ignorance. If you don't agree with amerika you are a terrorist. Ask the students at Kent University about domestic terrorists, national guard, army....

BTW...how high is high enough to not control your vehicle adequately...not only a ranger but an expert in everything. Were the amerikans high that 'accidently' killed their allies overseas....oooops collateral damage (army speak for KILLED THE WRONG PEOPLE), but hey they weren't "that high"

Army Ranger
Army Ranger

It does not matter if he did start the fight he was out numbered and out gunned beating a man on the ground is what pussy ass police should not be doing.

El-Guapo
El-Guapo

"can't imagine *any* side of this story that would justify the beating this man suffered. "

You lack imagination then. Try imagining subduing a violent criminal sometime.

Sabrina Stevens
Sabrina Stevens

My critical mind functions quite well, thank you. So does my heart, which is why I can't imagine *any* side of this story that would justify the beating this man suffered. This level of force is far beyond what could possibly have been necessary for that many armed officers to subdue a single unarmed person.

El-Guapo
El-Guapo

Sigh. Did you notice something about the article? It only showed his side of the story. Think about that for a while.

BTW. I have no problem with pot legalization. I just found Landau unbelievable. Read the article with a critical mind instead of with a rooters interest and you might learn something.

Sabrina Stevens
Sabrina Stevens

Do you seriously think these are circumstances under which THAT kind of force would be warranted?? Do you really think carrying pot and making an illegal turn should land someone in the hospital, with permanent physical and psychological scars?? There are no words for that kind of callousness. I sincerely hope you never come in physical contact with other living things. Your lack of compassion is STUNNING, and appalling.

El-Guapo
El-Guapo

NOPE. I wasn't arguing that he deserved a beat down. I was arguing that I don't believe his story.

Disappoint
Disappoint

Sounds like your only argument for this beating is that the boy was potentially high. (Unproven)

Your only issue with that is that it is illegal, not that it is immoral. And apparently people who smoke marijuana deserve to have the shit beat out of them? And you want these Officers PROTECTING you?

Did it ever occur to you that maybe you might be the next one to get beat down for no reason?

El-Guapo
El-Guapo

None, other than skeptical reader. Not that I expect you to believe that. You seem to think everyone who doesn't feel the way you do must have an ulterior motive.

Here's a thought experiment for you though - you say, " I know his character to be excellent & I know that he is intelligent, kind, & nonviolent". Did it ever occur to you that every criminal has someone saying the same thing for them. Kind of makes it a weak argument.

Phathaway17
Phathaway17

I know Alex personally. Therefore I know his character to be excellent & I know that he is intelligent, kind, & nonviolent.

El-Guapo
El-Guapo

"Clearly, you have some investment in this beyond the casual reader. It is time to take responsibility for your actions & correct your behavior/thinking. Another career besides law enforcement would be a good start".

Your assumptions are unwarranted. Just because I am skeptical of Landau's claim's I must be one of the arresting officers? Weak logic there.

As far as the smell of marijuana: "Landau had a feeling the telltale odor was in the air." Yeah. I bet.

Phathaway17
Phathaway17

No, I meant that he is majoring in business administration. Therefore, his career is business is correct.

How do you know his car reeked of marijuana unless you were there? Also, what do you mean, Landau isn't fooling me? Clearly, you have some investment in this beyond the casual reader. It is time to take responsibility for your actions & correct your behavior/thinking. Another career besides law enforcement would be a good start.

The young man's name is Alex.

El - Guapo
El - Guapo

"No one said that he was driving high." Please. His car reeked of marijuana and they found weed in the trunk and on his passenger, which the passenger admitted to. If you choose to delude yourself, that's fine. Landau isn't fooling me.

BTW, if you want to play the grammar police then check yourself - "His career is business."

I think you meant - "His career is *his* business." Note the difference? (I'm sure you'll take this in the same spirit in which you corrected me.)

 
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