Denver, Colorado Police Use of Excessive Force & Brutality

Can the citizens of Denver, Colorado rely on the City’s police force to protect and serve them?  Or, should the City’s citizens fear its police officers?  Recently, a lot of public attention has been brought to Denver, Colorado police’s use of excessive force and, in some instances, outright brutality.  It is important that victims of police use of excessive force or brutality retain a personal injury attorney who has experience handling such cases.  Bringing legal action against Denver police officers who victimize the very public that they are sworn to protect is very often the only means of holding these bad cops accountable.  The Denver personal injury attorneys at Frankfurt & Trani, P.C. have successfully assisted numerous clients hold such officers accountable. 

Most recently, it has been the light discipline that the City of Denver has imposed upon police officers who have engaged in excessive force and brutality that has caught the public’s attention.  The Denver Post reports today that in the wake of public criticism over the manner in which he has handled two Denver police excessive force complaints, Denver Manager of Safety, Ron Perea has resigned. 

Denver police officer Eric Sellers was suspended by Perea for 45 days for “inappropriate force” and “commission of a deceptive act.”  This incident of Denver police brutality occurred after Officer Sellers used excessive force and beat Commerce City volunteer firefighter, Jared Lunn, after Lunn criticized the officer for failing to press charges against someone who had punched Lunn and knocked a pizza out of his hands.  Denver officer Sellers attacked Lunn, putting him in a choke hold and in handcuffs.  All of this because Lunn wished to press charges against a person who had just assaulted him!  Lunn states that he communicated his wish to press charges to the Denver officers when they arrived, but was told to “just go home”.  In response, Lunn made the comment “way to protect and serve”.  That is when officer Sellers attacked.  Lunn was so severely injured by the officer’s brutality that he could not use his thumbs for a week.  No charges were brought by the Denver City Attorney against Lunn.

The second incident of excessive force by Denver police for which Perea had been criticized concerned an attack by Denver police officers Devon Sparks and Randy Murr.  The video of this incident clearly shows the victim, Michael DeHerrera, on his cell phone and doing nothing to provoke the officers at the time of the attack.  DeHerrera is the son of Pueblo, Colorado deputy sheriff Anthony DeHerrera.  It was his father who DeHerrera was on his cell phone with at the time of the attack.  Perea disciplined the officers by merely docking them 3 days pay.  Charges against DeHerrera were later dropped by the Denver City Attorney.

A third incident of police use of excessive force hasn’t yet made it to the Denver Manager of Safety’s office.  This incident occurred when Mark Ashford, who was walking his dogs at the time, offered to testify on behalf of a motorist who was being cited for failing to stop at a stop sign.  Ashford offered to testify that the driver did stop.  The Denver police officers who had made the stop clearly did not like that Ashford was going to contradict their supposed observations prior to the traffic stop.  The officers told Ashford to leave.  When he didn’t, they demanded to see his identification and then detained him.  The video of this incident clearly shows the Denver police officers attacked Ashford without any provocation. Ashford ended up in the hospital as a result of the officers’ brutality.  The Denver City Attorneys’ Office dropped the charge of “interference” because officers had violated his 4th Amendment rights in that they had no reason to contact him or detain him. 

While Denver Mayor Hickenlooper has made some efforts to reform the manner in which the City’s police officers are policed themselves when they use excessive force, it obviously has not been enough.  Police officers who engage in such acts should be terminated and should definately not be entrusted to patrol the city streets.  Unfortunately, when the City refuses to adequately protect its citizens from these police officers, the only way to hold them accountable is through a personal injury action.  The attorneys at Frankfurt & Trani, P.C. have successfully represented numerous clients who have been the victims of police use of excessive force and brutality.  If you have found yourself a victim of such conduct by our City’s police force, please call us for a FREE Consultation.  (303) 830-0090.

About the Author:
Mr. Jamison writes and blogs on behalf of the Denver, Colorado based criminal defense and personal injury law firm of Frankfurt & Trani, P.C.
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