Last week, we told you about a $3.25 million settlement agreement in the case of Jamal Hunter, who maintained that the City of Denver failed to properly protect him after he says inmates scalded his genitals with boiling water and two deputies attacked him in an incident caught on video.
Now, Anthony Waller, an inmate whose face-smashing encounter with a Denver deputy was also captured on video, has filed his own lawsuit against Denver. His demand: $5 million. Details, videos and original documents below.
As we've reported, the Colorado Independent first shared the video of Deputy Brady Lovingier slamming Waller into a courtroom wall. Here's the clip, which shows what happened from a different angle than one seen in the 7News piece that broke the news about yesterday's filing of the Waller lawsuit:
The time stamp on the video shows that the images were originally grabbed back in September 2012. However, no punishment was doled out until September of 2013, a year later. Moreover, Lovingier only received a thirty-day suspension for his actions, as outlined in a decision letter on view below.
Coincidentally, Hunter filed his original lawsuit in September 2012. But the case gained new momentum last month, after newly released documents offered shocking info, including references to porn, pot, on-duty drunkenness and brutality at Denver's jail. Weeks later, the City of Denver agreed to settle the case for the aforementioned $3.25 million sum. The Denver City Council is expected to sign off on the deal as early as next week.
This payout is mentioned in the Waller suit, as are other settlements of its type. The document notes that "Denver City Attorney David Fine reported to the Denver City Council in September of 2010 that the city of Denver has spent nearly $6.2 million since 2004 to settle lawsuits involving police officers, and nearly all of the payouts were for allegations of excessive force." The complaint points out that "these statistics do not even include lawsuits against the City and County of Denver arising out of Sheriff's Department conduct," including the Hunter matter.
The Waller lawsuit is shared in its entirety below, but here's an excerpt justifying the $5 million damage request:
Defendants' conduct was performed under color of state law and directly or proximately caused the deprivation of Plaintiff Waller's well established federally protected rights. Denver has a continuing, persistent and widespread practice of unconstitutional misconduct by its law enforcement (both Denver Police and Denver Sheriff's Department) of engaging in excessive force against persons with which Denver law enforcement must contact. Denver is deliberately indifferent to the use of excessive force and by its deliberate indifference approves, condones, and ratifies its law enforcements' use of force, which is performed through official custom, policy, or practice.
This incident is one of many resulting from Denver's custom policy and practice of engaging in excessive force and failing to monitor, safeguard and protect the health and safety of detainees in the custody of the Denver Sheriff's Department.
Look below to see the 7News piece about the Waller filing, followed by the lawsuit and the decision letter regarding Lovingier's thirty-day suspension.
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Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.