Jairon Katz and Scott Kida: Update on cops' inappropriate-conduct investigations

Update: Yesterday, we told you about separate investigations of alleged inappropriate conduct aimed at two Denver police officers, Jairon Katz and Scott Kida, with the former accused of having sex in his patrol car and the latter suspected of an improper relationship with a domestic-violence victim; look below to see our previous coverage, including photos and video.

We've now received an official status update from Denver Police Department spokesman Matt Murray. Continue for details.

According to 7News, Kida was assigned to investigate a domestic-violence case, and the woman at the center of it subsequently exchanged numerous text messages with him. One such text from him read, "Send me a pic so I know it's really you..."

She eventually forwarded six photos, and he reciprocated with three of his own, including one showing him on a motorcycle; riding is his hobby, as he describes in a post about him published last year. In addition, he responded to a compliment about his physique by texting "lol, Thanks :).... Trust me... you are very noticeable too.. ;)"

Kida also sent a note reading, "Delete our text conversation when were [sic] done" -- which she obviously didn't do.

Where do things stand with the inquiry into Kida's actions? "We're through the investigative process," says spokesman Murray, "and we're at the disciplinary level now. On March 13, he was placed on in-home suspension, so he has to be at home during the work hours. He's been suspended with pay, but he's no longer able to perform as a police officer."

To be clear: The home suspension doesn't constitute discipline against Kida. "That's a reflection of where we are at in the process," Murray notes. "A few due-process things still have to happen in the case, and then it will go to the Manager of Safety for a decision about discipline. But we're close to the end of that case."

That's not true of the investigation into Katz, who was dubbed a hero several years ago for an attempt to rescue a teen washed away in an area known as Gold Smith Gulch, near the intersection of Yale and Quebec; he had to be rescued by other personnel on site, or he might not have survived. Murray declines to confirm the 7News report that Katz is being investigated for having sex in his patrol car: "We can't get into the nature of the allegation or evidence of any kind," he stresses. However, he acknowledges that "we received a complaint of inappropriate behavior on duty, and he has been placed on an administrative assignment."

That means Katz remains on the payroll but isn't patrolling the streets right now -- and he won't be again until the investigation is complete and decisions are made about potential punishment, or a lack thereof.

Continue for our previous coverage of Jairon Katz and Scott Kida, including photos and video. Original post, 10:23 a.m. March 20: Investigations have been launched into the activities of two Denver police officers, Jairon Katz and Scott Kida, reportedly for inappropriate conduct on duty. In Katz's case, he's alleged to have had sex in his patrol car. Kida, for his part, is accused of dubious texts to a domestic-violence victim.

The accusations are surprising given that Katz was ballyhooed as a hero for an incident several years ago, while Kida is the subject of a laudatory post on an emergency services website. Photos, a video and additional details below.

Back in 2007, Katz tried to save a young man who was swept away by rising water near the intersection of Yale and Quebec, in an area known as Gold Smith Gulch -- and in the midst of his rescue effort, he was nearly sucked under. As noted by 9News, he was saved by other emergency personnel on the scene.

Risking his life was nothing new to Katz. The station noted that he joined the Denver Police Department in 2004 after three years with the Wheat Ridge Fire Department.

His actions at Gold Smith Gulch stand in contrast to the accusations against him reported by 7News. Sources tell the station he's alleged to have had sex in his patrol car while on duty.

Lieutenant Matt Murray, a spokesman for the DPD, wouldn't confirm this accusation, but did note that Katz is on administrative leave. We have a call in to Murry and will update this post when and if he gets back to us.

More information about Katz is available on a social-media site called Law Officer Connect. Included are a couple photos of Katz boxing, including this one....

...and, presumably, this one: In the personal-information section of the post, Katz notes that he's married, and he completes a prompt that begins "I Love Being in Law Enforcement Because" with "Loosing love for the job." It's unclear is this is a typo that obscures his actual point, or if he's actually less enamored of law enforcement than he once was.

And Kida?

Continue for more about Officer Scott Kida, including photos and a video. DPD spokesman Murray tells 7News that an investigation into Kida's conduct with a domestic-violence victim has been completed, with a decision about discipline pending. The woman, speaking anonymously on video in a manner that obscures her identity, says she exchanged text messages with Kida that appear to be flirtatious in nature -- and he later asked her to delete them. He's said to have encouraged her to send him photos of herself, and reciprocated with an image of him on a motorcycle.

By coincidence, a July 2012 post entitled "10 Questions with Scott Kida -- Denver PD," which appears on the website, features not one but two snapshots of Kida on a motorcycle. Here's the first....

...and here's the second: In the post, Kida identifies his hobby as "riding my clears my head and relieves my stress."

Kida grew up in Michigan, and the post notes that he gets great personal satisfaction from training recruits: "I love it when THE LIGHT COMES ON and you see it in a recruit's face that he/she GETS IT!!"

He also shares his funniest experience on the job -- one that involves a domestic-violence call. He writes:

One time I was sent into Aurora, Colorado (a neighboring jurisdiction) to handle a domestic violence call. The actual domestic violence assault had occurred in Denver, but the couple lived in Aurora. The male had struck the female several times and she did receive obvious bruising on her face and chest area. They were at a social event in Denver, but the fight continued after they got home in Aurora. The female eventually called 911 and Aurora police responded. After interviewing both parties it was determined the fight started in Denver, and should be handled by Denver PD since it started in our city. When I arrived in the middle of Aurora at the victim's address I saw THREE Aurora PD police cars and FIVE Aurora officers. The main senior Aurora PD officer was SEVEN FOOT TALL (Seriously) and was an Aurora SWAT officer. I also saw about 5 kids sitting on the sidewalk a house down the street from where I was going....As I walked past the 5 kids on the sidewalk I overheard the kids say "OH SHIT....THIS MUST BE SERIOUS...DENVER IS HERE!!!!" LOL......Mind you, I'm 5ft 10 on a good day and the senior Aurora officer was 7 ft tall.....and there were 5 Aurora guys...and I was by myself!! It made me smile (and on the inside I said, YOU GOT THAT RIGHT KID!!)...The male was arrested for Assault/Disturbance/Domestic Violence....As I walked back past the 5 kiddos, they got up and saluted me.....I gave them all Denver Police stickers.
This anecdote indicates that Kida takes great pride in being a member of the DPD, and this feeling also comes across in his answer to the question, "What will be your legacy?" He writes, "Is the world better because of you/your work/your influence? My personal legacy is that I didn't take any guff from anyone...not even other cops. I never caved-in to peer pressure regardless if it was popular or not. I do believe that the Denver Police Department has certainly benefited from my training new officers to be professional, dedicated and honest to everyone. Senior officers have also benefited from the same."

Here are more photos of Kida from the Hub911 post, followed by the 7News report.

More from our News archive circa 2011: "Denver police bad behavior: 96 disciplined in 2010 for drunkenness, theft and more."

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts