Top

news

Stories

 

After missing two self-imposed deadlines, in May White invited everyone involved in the initial case to individually demonstrate the actions they had explained in their statements — basically, to reenact them. Landau aggressively refused, calling the request an insult that asked him to essentially relive the worst night of his life.

"A lot of that came around because of the use of the word 'reenactment,' which I would suggest is a poor choice of words," Martinez says. "'Reenactment' makes it sound like we're producing a video."

White went forward without Landau's participation, and in a joint statement released in early June, White and Martinez wrote that "the investigation is now complete." But they also said that they were not releasing the results of their investigation — because the Federal Bureau of Investigation was now on the case.

For years, the Colorado branch of the American Civil Liberties Union, the CPC and other anti-police-brutality groups had tried to convince the Department of Justice to investigate the DPD. But the FBI's investigation, announced publicly on June 4, is not the top-to-bottom standards-and-practices review that they had pushed for: According to Dave Joly, spokesman for the Denver division of the FBI, the agency is focusing specifically on Landau's case. And while the FBI does its own investigation of that incident, any action by the city is on hold.

"The right of the City of Denver to discipline police internally does not depend on what the FBI thinks of crime," argues Holland, Landau's attorney, who calls the added delay "hilarious." "These are completely independent functions. It's like they're betting on something."

For his part, Martinez estimates a delay of at least six months and perhaps as much as a year before the city can release the report on its own investigation and take any disciplinary action against the officers involved. "It's not a result that hasn't been released," he clarifies. "The decision is to wait for any additional information before we make a decision. The simple reason is to be sure we're considering everything there is to be considered. If they come up with something we haven't seen or aren't aware of, we want to see it."

It would be "foolish" not to wait for the outcome of the FBI's investigation, White says, adding that because the clock has already been ticking for three years, time is no longer of the essence.

"What's the likelihood that the situation is going to come out different?" Martinez asks. "Probably not great. There's no way to fix the problem, at this point in time, with how long this has taken. Since you can't fix that, it seems that getting it right seems to weigh heavier than getting it done."

The federal investigation brings with it an extension of resources, including the ability to subpoena witnesses and immunize them against prosecution. "They are bigger, stronger, scarier, basically," Martinez says. The FBI is working independently of the DPD and the Office of the Manager of Safety, he notes; it was a courtesy of the DOJ to even notify the city of the investigation. The process will take investigators back to square one as the federal team sifts through evidence in order to decide whether to pursue criminal prosecution of the officers.

Landau was made aware of the FBI's involvement at the end of April and has shared his story with federal investigators in the intervening months.

"If the FBI comes to the right decision in this case, I believe we can convince them to later investigate the entire police department," Landau says. "It's a start. It just happens to be a really long one."

**********

Landau's investigation is not the only process that's been dragging on. Last year, the City of Denver spent $1.34 million settling police-brutality lawsuits. More than half of that was connected with Landau's case. But along with the DPD's current backlog of officer-misconduct investigations, a few high-profile cases have yet to come to a real conclusion.

In April 2009, a few months after Landau was pulled over, then-23-year-old Michael DeHerrera and his partner, Shawn Johnson, were beaten by DPD officers in LoDo — an incident that was caught on camera. Then-Manager of Safety Ron Perea originally suspended Randy Murr, who was also involved in the Landau case, and Devin Sparks for three days as punishment for their actions. But that decision created such a firestorm of controversy that Perea left and the DPD reopened its investigation. Seven months later, then-Manager of Safety Charles Garcia called for both men, who were found to have lied about the proceedings, to be fired — but the officers appealed to the city's Civil Service Commission, the organization responsible for hearing disciplinary appeals for the Denver police, fire and sheriff's departments.

The commission's hearing panel sided with Perea, supporting a technicality and reinstating the officers without actually holding an appeal hearing. But in April, the commission ruled that the hearing panel had made a mistake in reinstating Sparks and Murr, who were re-fired. They still have the opportunity to appeal their termination, however — and will go in front of the same hearing panel in October.

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
All
 
Next Page »
 
My Voice Nation Help
21 comments
Maji
Maji

To Jamier247 -   You assume they had weed in the trunk.  Alex's friend was only freaking because the search was escalating and he knew it could get bad.  Alex is now working with victims, and educating normal citizens on ways to avoid police conflicts.  He's a kind, smart, thoughtful young man, and your comments are based on ignorance and racism.  What an insult you are.

diamondgirlmya
diamondgirlmya

Police act like a gang and they are supposed to protect and serve ....not torture people. and that officer should no longer be working for the Department ever again!

Guest
Guest

It doesn't matter what was or wasn't in the trunk. He consented to a search of the cab, which he did not have to do, but asked for a warrant to search the trunk, they asked if the officer had a warrant. Rather than either, A) Search it anyway and contest in court whether US V Ross applied in this case, they chose to beat the living hell out of Landau. This is a clear case of police brutality. He has been cleared of all charges, so obviously the evidence that he 'went for the officer's gun' wasn't there. It is never okay for police officers to beat civilians, and since most of them are recorded while on duty, why weren't they able to provide any evidence of Landau's supposed behavior. Unfortunately, idiotic reasoning is used which essentially allows the police to use those recordings if they support the police's point of view, but civilians are not allowed to see said same tapes if they show evidence of an officer breaking the law. Double standard much?

Who Cares
Who Cares

Reform the worst criminal gang known as DPD? Not going to happen. Westword should take a day and photograph the eyes of DPD street thugs. They are totally gone. The number one criminal gang in Denver is DPD. Just look at them. Frothing at the wastoids with far gone eyes. Most look like they are drugged out.

guest
guest

They do get up early to beat the crowds

Lousligo39
Lousligo39

lots of liberal jews in denver i take it.bet none of them ever did a days worl except to rabble rouse the swatzters.

Jamier247
Jamier247

I'm right there with you. It's funny how the media who's bias in their coverage does report the fact that law abiding citizens don't drive around with a trunk full of drugs. And for those who think its no big deal apparently you have no idea of what's happening in our streets. Are there cops who shouldn't be on the streets, yes but there are more good cops doing a job of risking their lives for our protection that us everyday Joe citizens wouldnt do...so for all you people that say fuck the police blah blah blah are you going to patrol our streets, get the bad guys no matter what the cost (maybe your lives) go after the gang members, stop the robbers??? No your not.

Jamier247
Jamier247

Landau is made out to be a hero of some kind for citizens rights, he's a fucking drug dealer plan and simple. Your going to sit there and tell me two guys with a trunk full of weed is just some poor innocent guy....brother please! He was a low life who was doing illegal shit, did he deserve to get the shit kicked out of him....hummm I don't know cause we weren't there. But if he was going for an officers gun (which happens more often than you'd believe) do you all seriously believe that he and his buddy with a car full of weed intended to comply with officers and didnt struggle? We only have his word for it that he did nothing, so he recalled it. But let me reflect on cases like his where these guys say they did nothing

Mouthbomb
Mouthbomb

fuck denver police, savage fucking swine, burn them all alive!

Parker
Parker

Not saying beating him was right.....but now a sizable amount of money, which comes from our taxes, went to a law breaking, drug using individual.....Nice job! I'm sure he is using some of that 800K to buy more weed.....isn't it great to live in America where you can get ahead by being a degenerate

Mikelblk
Mikelblk

I'm glad to see that someone is actually policing the police. I to have had dealings with the DPD. Scary stuff!!

sarahadam889
sarahadam889

Foxes and henhouses, deck chairs and the Titanic - Chief White's efforts. Farts in a hurricane - Mayor Hancock's leadership.DISCOVER THE TRUTH BEHIND... READ THIS ARTICLE  ......=> FinancialsReports.blogspot.com

Bob Smith
Bob Smith

Foxes and henhouses, deck chairs and the Titanic - Chief White's efforts. Farts in a hurricane - Mayor Hancock's leadership.

Brian Frederick
Brian Frederick

Because that's going to work, "Guest." Listen, people can have their "fuck the police" rallies all they want - but fact of the matter is, they don't and won't work. It's not the complaints that weed out the bad apples, clearly, because what happens? They get their jobs back, get a job in another town or just leave and get paid for it. All I'm saying is that there's going to be negative connotations to all this dissent of authority. The "weeding out" needs to happen on a personal level. Personal responsibility is going to be the only thing that saves us as a society - and - unfortunately it's not something we teach well to our kids in this country. So, yes, you're right. We all need to Man The Fuck Up.

Guest
Guest

So, how does this weeding out take place? Oh yeah, by people making complaints about said bad apples. Now, go tell your buddy's in blue to MAN THE FUCK UP!

BAFrederick
BAFrederick

Right - it's not like bad behavior in any authoritarian position is anything new. The media is acting like this is something that's just come out of nowhere - rather than looking at the obvious - that it's just easier to keep track of and prosecute in present day. Hearing that DPD is the devil of all police systems is laughable every time I hear it. Chicago and Los Angeles, to name a few, have been dealing with things like this for years. In fact, the reason why they don't have as many complaints is because socially it's just become accepted or civilians have learned that when you get arrested, you just buckle down and take it because there's nothing that can be done at the point of steel to skin. In no way am I condoning this type of behavior, but the unfortunate effect of filing so many complaints is that the good police are now scared to do their job. In talking with a few of my acquaintances who are in the force (no, you can't have their names) they've told me things like "cars will stall when being called to a scene because they don't want to be the first ones there" or "they won't even bother with the issue because of fear of doing their job properly that would be misconstrued." It's too bad we're scaring some of the good cops out of doing the right (and safe) thing for fear of being fired or suspended. Like I said, the behavior is not condoned, but another side needs to be told as well. The bad apples eventually get thrown away, not sold in a store - they'll get weeded out eventually.

diamondgirlmya
diamondgirlmya

your dumb and dont know what you are talking about!

Jamier247
Jamier247

Just like that gang member who shot a cop in Greely, media reported what a nice kid he was per is mother ( sure he was doing something illegal),when the officer stopped him but his mother was interviewed and said he son was innocent not a gang member and than tried to sue the county for $$$$ . Come to find out he was a total low life who was involved in gangs, robbery and other criminal behavior. Funny than we find out this guy has a criminal history. You can doing something illegal, resist arrest, fight a cop, and sue the city and be called a victim.

Mouthbomb
Mouthbomb

^^^conservative, totalitarian prick

 
Loading...