Marvin Booker death: Denver Sheriff Department members cleared (VIDEO)
The five officers involved in restraining Marvin Booker in July 2010 at the Van Cise-Simonet Detention Center -- an incident that ultimately led to his death -- will be not face criminal charges.
Instead, they're scheduled to meet today with Director of Corrections Gary Wilson about when they will return to work.
"I conclude that the five deputies involved in this matter did not violate the department's use of force policy or any other departmental rules as they relate to these incidents," said Denver Manager of Safety Charles Garcia after a group of reporters were shown the video. "Therefore, no disciplinary actions will be ordered.
"Was the level of force appropriate?" he asked. "Once again, the answer is yes."
In a press conference today in the basement of the Detention Center, Sheriff Department and Denver city officials, including Mayor Bill Vidal, announced their findings and released a 42-page report as well as the long-withheld video of the incident, taken during the early morning hours of July 9. Wilson also announced that the carotid "sleeper" hold, thought to be a contributing factor in Booker's death by anti-violence protesters who marched on Friday, would no longer be used. Booker, 56, had cocaine in his system, which was determined to be a contributing factor in his death.
During the struggle, Sergeant Carrie Rodriguez placed a Taser against Booker's right thigh and "drive stunned" -- using it without firing projectiles -- him for eight seconds, a method that is supposed to be less harmful to the inmate. The report notes that Booker stopped resisting after being Tased.
Booker was carried into the cell, but at least one deputy said he seemed alive at that point (see page 19 of the report). The last grunt of Booker's life came when deputies laid him on the floor of the cell (page 18). Soon after, deputies noticed he wasn't moving and an on-duty nurse was called. The fire department later arrived and took life support measures.
Booker was transported to Denver Health and Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 4:33 a.m., an hour after the incident began.
Booker's family filed suit against the City of Denver in February. On Monday morning, Mayor Vidal and other officials watched the video for the first time with the family. The city originally offered to show the video to the family but without the family's lawyer, an offer the family declined.
Below is the full report. As Deputy Manager of Safety Ashley Kilroy pointed out while providing narration to reporters, the video shows the last moments of Booker's life.
Below is raw footage from Monday's press conference:
More from our News archive: "Marvin Booker video: DA's office on why it can't release footage of man who died in Denver jail."
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.