See Lodo's Surveillance Video From Night Chokehold Killed Sammy Pickel

Last month, we told you about the death of Sammy Pickel, who passed away a couple of days after being put in a chokehold by a bouncer at Lodo's Bar & Grill in Westminster.

Then, last week, we noted that 17th Judicial District DA Dave Young had decided against criminal charges for the bouncers, because of his belief that he couldn't prove the case in court.

As promised, Young's office has now released surveillance video from the club, as well of clips in which the bouncers in question are quizzed by investigators.

Unfortunately, the angle of the shot from Lodo's only captures portions of what happened. But even these indistinct images have proven extraordinarily difficult to watch for Pickel's sister, Jocelyn.

"This video will haunt me for the rest of my life," she writes as part of a Facebook post shared in its entirety below.

In the meantime, Pickel's loved ones will be staging a celebration of Sammy's life scheduled for 1 p.m. today.

As you'll see, the actions of Pickel and the bouncers on the March evening in question are mostly seen on the far left-hand corner and top of the screen.

Pickel can clearly be observed pushing someone at the bar. But what exactly went down between him and the bouncers is tough to view clearly, as evidenced by this image....

...and this one:

These drawbacks were mentioned by Young during a press conference at which he explained why he had decided against pressing charges.

Afterward, Jocelyn Pickel took to Facebook to brand Young's decision a "joke" and suggested that Pickel had been murdered.

She was equally emotional after seeing the video.

Here's her post:
This video will haunt me for the rest of my life. My brother is not the monster that these animals are trying to make him out to be. Sammy was the most loving person, with the biggest heart. He was friendly to all. He would give the shirt off his back to a total stranger. He told it how it was and if you had a problem with it then tough shit. He had a "don't sweat the small stuff, it's all small stuff" attitude. He was one of a kind and I was lucky enough to call him my little brother. My question to you is... .Why is footage like this even released to the public? Don't you think we've all gone through enough heart break in the past four weeks? Are you trying to prove a point? Trying to place the blame on my brother? No one deserves to lose their life regardless of any situation. As my brother would say, "this is all ass backwards".... No worries, karma's my new best friend. I know who my brother was, he was a gentle giant and he would never hurt anyone. Oh and for the record he didn't weigh 370 lbs. Everyone needs to get their facts straight. With that being said, we've got this from here ????? ?#?SamStrong?
Elsewhere on her Facebook page, Jocelyn includes information about the aforementioned celebration of life, which gets under way at 1 p.m. today, April 14, at Arvada Covenant Church, 5555 Ward Road in Arvada. The phone number there is 303-422-1235.

"If Sammy touched your life in some way like he did the lives of so many, please come join us," Jocelyn writes, adding, "Wear bright colors and your smile. Sammy would want everyone to be 'Cheesing from cheek to cheek.'"

Here's a Fox31 report featuring portions of the surveillance video.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
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