There's not much a Denver cop can't do on the job these days. He can beat men without provocation, mace women for fun, disobey orders, and lie to his superiors and the public. It's all good. It's just cops being cops, right? That's the apparent position of the Civil Service Commission, which hears disciplinary cases involving cops and firefighters. Over the past two months, the commission has reinstated six Denver officers who had been fired for committing at least one, and in some cases, all of the above transgressions.
In November, the commission reinstated officers Randy Murr and Devin Sparks, who were involved in the nonsensical beatdown of Michael DeHerrera -- caught on video -- and then fired for lying about their actions. The city is appealing that ruling.
In early January, the commission reinstated officers David Torrez and Jose Palomares who were fired after the DPD accused them of disobeying orders and violating department policy during a January 2010 stolen-car chase and then lying about it. The cops were told not to chase a vehicle, but they did anyway, damaging their own car.
And last week, the commission reinstated officers Kevin Devine and Ricky Nixon, who were fired after the police department accused them of lying about their excessive handling of a July 2009 situation at the Denver Diner -- also caught on camera -- in which they used mace to subdue a group of women. That case is also being appealed.
You may recognize the names Murr and Nixon: They are also the cops who cost the city $779,000 in a lawsuit and cost a man named Alex Landau, who won the suit, much more. The officers are accused of beating Landau to a pulp for no apparent reason after stopping him for an alleged traffic violation in 2009. It's possible both of the cops could be fired again -- since they've both been reinstated -- in this case.
Not that it would make a difference, since the commission will probably see fit to pat the boys on the head and put them back on the job -- again.
All of these cops should be long gone, but they deserve to have some company in the unemployment lines -- right alongside the members of the Civil Service Commission.
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