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Eric Winfield, artist beaten by Denver cops, fights back with Facebook

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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.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


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