The timing could hardly be worse: Just two days after Manager of Safety Stephanie O'Malley fired Denver deputies Thomas Ford and Edward Keller after they were caught on video using excessive force against prisoners, a new clip has surfaced showing another deputy, Roberto Roena, unleashing taekwondo moves on an inmate.
Roena, who's also a taekwondo instructor, has been suspended for ninety days due to his actions. Get details and see the footage and additional images below.
Roena's Facebook page features portraits like this one....
...and this one.... ...plus numerous taekwondo-related pics featuring him with young students, as well as the full-size version of the cropped image at the top of this post: Back in April, as seen in this screen capture from a video obtained by CBS4, Roena was showing off his taekwondo kicks for fellow deputies at the Downtown Detention Center.... ...when a nearby inmate apparently began giving him lip. Roena responded physically, precipitating a scuffle, with other deputies ultimately having to separate the two of them.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Westword's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Denver's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Afterward, Roena reportedly claimed that the inmate had initiated the contact -- something the video clearly shows wasn't true. As such, CBS4 notes that Roena drew a ninety-day suspension for his actions -- and for not initially telling the truth about them.
While the video is not nearly as violent as those that prompted the firings of Ford and Keller, it hardly presents a positive image of the deputies working at the detention center. Here's the CBS4 piece:
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.