Back in January 2011, we told you about a lawsuit filed against the Denver police by the Martinez family, members of a Mexican band who say cops broke into their home and beat them by mistake. More than three years later, a jury has awarded them $1.8 million -- but not for excessive force. Details b ... More >>
As we've reported, the Denver Sheriff Department has received negative attention aplenty in recent months owing to numerous excessive-force complaints, a huge lawsuit payout and more; see a previous post outlining five of the incidents below. The City of Denver is eager to be seen as tackling the i ... More >>
Update below: Back in March, we told you about a report showing that officer-involved shootings have been on the rise in Denver during recent years -- a trend the Office of the Independent Monitor found troubling. The numbers serve as backdrop to separate incidents that took place within hours of e ... More >>
Last week, we noted that seven Denver police officers have gotten in trouble in recent months -- some on criminal charges such as assault, others for internal matters like sex on the job and explicit photos stored on department devices. Now comes word that Denver Sheriff's Department Captain Sonya ... More >>
Yesterday, we shared a post about Patricia Lucero, who was bloodied during an incident involving a Denver police officer. The Office of the Independent Monitor recommended that the officer be disciplined, but the Manager of Safety's office disagreed. We've now obtained surveillance footage showing ... More >>
This morning, the Office of the Independent Monitor, charged with overseeing and evaluating the actions of the Denver Police Department and the Denver County Sheriff's Office, issued its annual report. We'll be digging into the complete document in a separate post. But first, we'd like to focus on a ... More >>
Earlier today, we highlighted one section from the Office of the Independent Monitor's annual report -- a recommendation for discipline against an officer who bloodied a handcuffed Patricia Lucero that wasn't accepted by the Manager of Safety's Office. But there's plenty of other interesting informa ... More >>
It is going to be hot today. It was a hot day two years ago, when Alonzo Ashley was at the Denver Zoo, went to get a drink of water at the fountain, and set off a chain of events that resulted in his death at the hands of the Denver Police Department, which used a contact-taser to subdue Ashley. Suf ... More >>
Occupy Denver may no longer be making headlines, but at least one city official is still talking about the protesters -- specifically law enforcement's role in a violent confrontation. A recent report from the Office of the Independent Monitor, the city's official watchdog, says Denver Police and th ... More >>
Just before the end of 2012, Nicholas Mitchell, Denver's new independent monitor, released his first report to the public, covering discipline cases at the police and sheriff's departments. The document from the city's official watchdog, just the second person to hold the position, offers a glimps ... More >>
Jamal Hunter spent a stretch of 2011 in jail -- and he still bears the scars. Hunter has filed a lawsuit against the City and County of Denver and individual law enforcers for failing to properly protect him, after he says inmates scalded his genitals with boiling water and two deputies attacked hi ... More >>
Today, Mayor Michael Hancock will interview the last three candidates for Denver's open Independent Monitor position -- again. In the second round of a search that has lasted six months, finalists Kenneth Moore, Nicholas Mitchell and Gary Maas all share connections to Colorado. Last night, they answ ... More >>
One year after his death, Alonzo Ashley's family has filed a lawsuit on his behalf in U.S. District Court. A year ago this month, Ashley died of a heart attack and respiratory arrest after a skirmish at the Denver Zoo in which Denver Police officers contact-tased him. Fronted by his mother, Gail Wat ... More >>
In this week's cover story, "Back on the Beat," Westword explores recent changes within the Denver Police Department's oversight system and its investigation of Alex Landau's January 2009 beating. For a while, there won't be any changes: While the Department of Justice analyzes the Landau, the DPD h ... More >>
This morning, the ACLU of Colorado requested a formal investigation of the Denver Police Department's conduct with Occupy Denver during the past six and a half months. The complaint, delivered to Police Chief Robert White and the Office of the Independent Monitor, cites both First Amendment freedoms ... More >>
Update below: On the same day Denver Manager of Safety Alex Martinez met with Westword, his office cleared eight cops in a July incident at the Denver Zoo during which Alonzo Ashley died. The decision summary contradicts the account offered by Ashley's loved ones in virtually every respect.
Have something you want to ask Alex Martinez, Denver's new Manager of Safety? This is your chance: Westword writers will be meeting with the former Colorado Supreme Court justice this morning, to get an overview of the office and ask about some specific issues, including the recent rulings overtur ... More >>
Until last year, John Diaz was a Denver police officer. He resigned in the middle of an excessive-force investigation aimed at him and a fellow cop -- one in which his actions were ultimately found to be justified, more or less. But now, he's back in the spotlight for a potpourri of charges centerin ... More >>
Update: Yesterday, we told you about a Denver Police Department Twitter survey asking respondents to compare the fairness of photo-radar reports by Fox31 and 9News. Earlier today, the DPD tweeted the results. The winner? Hard to say. But "Who cares?" did very, very well.
Video below.Along with outgoing Manager of Safety Charley Garcia, the Office of the Independent Monitor, led by Richard Rosenthal, has taken heat from police organizations for alleged bias against officers. But the OIM's latest investigation -- an inquiry into supposed cheating on a Denver sh ... More >>
Jared Lunn.The firing of two Denver cops over the Michael DeHerrera beating. The sacking of two more officers for billy-clubbing and macing at the Denver Diner. The $795,000 payout to brutality victim Alexander Landau. The bad PR keeps coming for the Denver Police Department. The latest? Two ... More >>
As we reported yesterday, Manager of Safety Charley Garcia has sacked Denver cops Ricky Nixon and Kevin Devine over allegedly billy-clubbing women to the ground and macing one of them in a July 2009 incident at the Denver Diner. Now it's been confirmed that one of the cops, Ricky Nixon, was a ... More >>
Marvin Booker.This morning, a team led by attorney Darold Killmer will file a lawsuit on view below in relation to Marvin Booker, who died in Denver jail July 9 after being put in a sleeper hold and Tased. But Killmer, who'll be center-stage during an 11 a.m. press conference about the case, ... More >>
Vicki Ferrari.Update: Last week, a jury sided with Vicki Ferrari, a Denver cop and former American Gladiators contestant in a lawsuit charging her with excessive force in relation to an interaction with David Kraus, manager of a local Grease Monkey, back in 2007. On Friday, we heard from Krau ... More >>
Daniel Martinez III.Attorney David Lane says he's got about a half-dozen active lawsuits against the Denver Police Department, including an excessive-force complaint against DPD officer and ex-American Gladiator contestant Vicki Fernandez that's scheduled for trial beginning today. His latest ... More >>
Alex LandauLast week, Westword detailed how nineteen-year-old college student Alex Landau was beaten bloody by three Denver police officers -- Randy Murr, Tiffany Middleton and Ricky Nixon -- after being pulled over for an illegal left turn in January 2009. As first reported by West Denver C ... More >>
DeHerrera.Even though Denver's crime rate is going down, excessive force against the Denver Police Department cause continue to stir debate, as in the cases of Alexander Landau and Michael DeHerrera. In an effort to counter the impression of a department out of control, the DPD has issued a ... More >>
Vicki Ferrari.On Tuesday, we told you about an excessive force lawsuit aimed at Denver police officer and former American Gladiator contestant Vicki Ferrari; a similar complaint targeted Abbe Dorn, also a Denver cop and onetime American Gladiator hopeful, last September. But Sean Olson, Ferra ... More >>
Vicki Ferrari.Last September, we told you about a police brutality lawsuit targeting Denver Police officer Abbe Dorn, a former American Gladiator contender. Now, Vicki Ferrari -- a Dorn pal who's also a Denver cop and onetime American Gladiator contestant -- is on the cusp of a trial in a sui ... More >>
Large pic below.The April 2009 police beating of Michael DeHerrera continues to be a matter of debate, with the Office of the Independent Monitor and former Manager of Safety Ron Perea coming to very different conclusions about whether officers at the scene used excessive force or were justif ... More >>
Yesterday's announcement from the Denver Police Department was short and very sweet to anyone who's been following the fallout from the DPD's handling of the Michael DeHerrera case: "Denver Police to Re-Open Investigation."
The Denver Police Department has made LoDo safe from the Let Out crowds, as Alan Prendergast's cover story this week details. The big question now: Who'll keep the Let Out crowds safe from the Denver police?
From the video below.Yesterday, we told you about a disagreement between the Office of the Independent Monitor's Richard Rosenthal and Manager of Safety Ron Perea over the April 2009 Denver Police beating of Michael DeHerrera. A video seems to show DeHerrera being attacked by Officer Devin Sp ... More >>
From the video below.Today, the Office of the Independent Monitor released a report about the April 2009 beating of Michael DeHerrera, with the OIM's Richard Rosenthal and Manager of Safety Ron Perea coming to very different conclusions about a video of the incident. Rosenthal thinks the two ... More >>
Today brings the release of the 2009 report by the Office of the Independent Monitor, which is tasked with keeping a watchful eye on the Denver Police Department and Sheriff's Department to "provide for fair and objective oversight... and ensure public confidence in the ability of these depar ... More >>
News is busting out all over today -- and not just in Denver District Judge Larry Naves's courtroom, where Ward Churchill may take the stand in his case against the University of Colorado, now starting week two. Or on the Auraria campus, where veteran newshounds of the Rocky Mountain News will un ... More >>
Are Denver cops trigger-happy for minorities? A video game might hold the answer.