Eric Winfield, artist beaten by Denver cops, fights back with Facebook
A LoDo encounter with Denver's finest left Eric Winfield with chipped teeth and permanent scars.
In the absence of any explanation from the cops who beat him, local artist Eric Winfield has turned to social media to pose a simple question about the events of October 27, 2007: Why?
That was the night the Boston Red Sox shelled the Colorado Rockies 10-5 on their way to a pitiless sweep of the World Series. It was also the night Winfield and two friends tried to make their way through the post-game crowds in LoDo -- and Winfield was badly beaten by Denver police officers.
According to Winfield, he was threading his way through a crowd outside the Le Rouge bar on Market Street when he was abruptly pushed from behind into a car: "The next thing I knew I was being punched in the face by a large, dark-skinned man (later determined to be Officer Antonio Milow, who is approximately 6-1 and 320 lbs), thrown to the ground and repeatedly kneed in the groin by Officer Milow. I was also beaten around the face and head many times by other officers, later identified as Glenn Martin and Thomas Johnston... While I was face down on the pavement with my hands cuffed behind my back, I felt strong pressure like grinding on the back of my head and felt my teeth breaking and chipping."
Although Winfield acknowledges having a few drinks that evening, he maintains he did nothing to provoke the officers, and his friends have provided similar accounts of the incident. Winfield says he was handcuffed to a gurney, left in a hallway at Denver Health for hours without medical attention, then charged with assault on a police officer and resisting arrest. The charges were later dropped. A complaint to the Denver Police Department's Internal Affairs Unit went nowhere, and Winfield is now pursuing a civil suit against the the city.
He also recently launched this Facebook page, complete with photos and a detailed chronology of the evening, to rally people to his cause. So far Winfield, who's suffered nerve damage to his hand, has drawn 151 friends -- and lots of commiseration from people who've had other baffling and brutal encounters with the serve-and-protect bunch.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Westword's biggest stories.