Last month, a video of Michael DeHerrera being attacked without apparent provocation by a Denver cop received plenty of attention, especially after Mayor John Hickenlooper asked the FBI to review the case after his manager of safety declined to sack the officers involved. Firings also seem less likely in the case of Marvin Booker, who died at Denver Jail on July 9 during an incident captured on (thus far unreleased) video, since Denver DA Mitch Morrissey has decided against filing charges.
Here's the gist of Morrisey's argument:
A review of the totality of the evidence amassed in this investigation supports the conclusion that it was the actions of Mr. Booker that necessitated the use of force at its inception and during its protracted continuation until he was subdued and controlled. To file criminal charges we must believe that we have a reasonable likelihood of proving the charge(s) to twelve jurors, unanimously, at trial, beyond a reasonable doubt, after considering reasonable defenses. The facts of this case do not support the filing of criminal charges. Therefore, I conclude that no criminal charges will be filed against any of the sheriff deputies involved in this incident.
Expect plenty of controversy to erupt as a result of this determination, as well as new calls for the video to be made public. The footage was previously withheld, according to DA's office spokeswoman Lynn Kimbrough, due to the ongoing investigation. And Kimbrough says "a question mark" about such a release continues to linger, since "there is still an administrative internal investigation that starts now that our piece is concluded. So it would be a decision they would have to make."
In the meantime, click here to read the entire Marvin Booker decision statement.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.