From the 1960’s to present day, the corruption behind the Denver Police has worsened, In the twelve years from 1998 to 2010, no Denver police oﬃcer was charged with excessive force. During this period, 86 people were shot by Denver police oﬃcers, resulting in 40 deaths.
In 1960, the largest police corruption scandal in the U.S. to date began to unfold. More than 50 area law-enforcement personnel - almost entirely Denver Police Oﬃcers were caught in a burglary ring. Cops had stolen over a quarter of a million dollars from businesses they were supposed to be protecting on their beats over a ten-year period. Police cars would close down a few blocks of a major business avenue, such as University or Broadway, then burgle and steal the safes from the businesses along the closed down portion of the street. Alarms would be going oﬀ all up and down the street, they would take their loot, then respond to the alarms and take the reports. It all came to a crashing halt when an oﬃcer named Art Winstanley literally had a safe fall out of the back of his police cruiser. He testified against his fellow oﬃcers and the by the end of 1961, 47 police oﬃcers had lost their badges. You can read more about this article @ http://www.denverpost.com/ci_14407534
In 2008, newspapers reported on a 1979 video that showed Sergeant Arthur Hutchinson addressing a group of police recruits. He used the terms “niggers,” “beaners,” “greasers” and “homos" to describe them. He asked one woman in the class "Is the real reason you came on here is because you just wanted to have access to 1,400 guys to fuck?"
Sergeant Hutchinson went on to serve as the chief of police in Eagle, Colorado for a year, and then as the chief in Black Hawk, Coloradofrom 1996 to 2006. You may read more about this article @ http://blogs.westword.com/latestword/2008/08/denver_police_training_video.php
In September, 1999 a Denver Police SWAT team performed a no-knock raid on the home of 45-year-old Mexican national, Ismael Mena, believing there to be drugs in the house. Police said that Mena pulled a gun on oﬃcers and opened fire, necessitating deadly force be used. Allegations of a police coverup of the shooting were never substantiated. Information from Mexican authorities indicated that Mena was a suspect in a homicide there. No drugs were found on the premise. Media and critics of the police department's handling of the situation have pointed out inconsistencies in oﬃcers' stories. Joseph Bini, the oﬃcer who gave the address to the SWAT team, was charged with first-degree oﬃcial misconduct, and sentenced to 12 months probation. The city of Denver later settled a lawsuit filed by Mena's family for $400,000. It was later determined that police targeted the wrong house having gotten the information from an unreliable informant who claimed to have purchased $20 of crack cocaine on the premises. You can read more on how the case was covered up by police @ http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/testimony-stirs-questions-over-fatal-no-knock-raid
In February 2006 Amy Shro ﬀ was attacked by her estranged husband as she tried to enter a Denver police station. She showed Oﬃcer Frank Spellman the restraining order that protected her from the man. Oﬃcer Spellman then arrested Shroﬀ. On 28 June 2010, the Denver City Council agreed to pay $175,000 to settle a civil suit on the matter. You can read more on this article @ http://www.denverpost.com/ci_15386978
In September 2009, Denver paid $225,000 to the family of Alberto Romero. Romero died after being
beaten and repeatedly tasered by city police oﬃcers in 2007. You can read more on this article @ http://www.denverpost.com/ci_6386600
On April 4, 2008, John Heaney was riding his bicycle past the stadium and allegedly ran a red light. He was stopped by Detective Micheal Cordova who was in plainclothes because he was working a sting operation against ticket scalpers. Cordova testified in court under oath that Heaney swung and punched at him several times, forcing Cordova to punch back. Cordova said Heaney “continued to throw wild punches at me, hitting me in the chest area several times forcing me to punch him in the face several times”. When he was asked how Heaney’s two front teeth were broken, Cordova responded, “I have not a clue.” John Heaney was charged with assault on a police oﬃcer and faced a minimum 3 year sentence, before a video tape surfaced showing it was Detective Cordova who attacked Heaney, tackling him, punching him in the face several times, and finally smashing his teeth into the pavement; the district attorney's oﬃce then dropped all charges against Heaney. A jury acquitted Detective Cordova on the assault charges and no charges were filed for perjury. The video was found to be edited prior to airing on the news channel and being given to the court. The video showed only the middle of fight and not the entire event. You can watch this video and learn more about the case @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnoMPFjHMOI
On 18 April, 2008 16-year- old Juan Vasquez ran from members of the Denver Police Department, an oﬃcer shouted for him "to stop or he would shoot him in the back." When Vasquez fell in the alley, one o ﬃcer jumped on his back. Other oﬃcers began to punch and kick him as Vasquez "begged" them to stop. Two of the arresting oﬃcers testified that Oﬃcer Charles Porter began jumping up and down on the teen's back while he was handcuﬀed and lying face-down on the ground. Vasquez, who is 5-foot-6 and 130 pounds, was hospitalized with a lacerated liver, a ruptured spleen, damage to both kidneys and bruised or fractured ribs. He spent three days in intensive care handcuﬀed to the bed. Porter was charged and acquitted of felony assault charges, he was the only witness at his defense and claimed the other oﬃcers who testified against him caused the injuries during the arrest and conspired to pin the blame on him. Vasquez filed a lawsuit for 1.3 million dollars, and the city settled for "just under $1,000,000". You can read more about this article @ http://www.denverpost.com/ci_9482711
In 2008 Oﬃcer Eric Sellers and two unnamed Denver police oﬃcers attacked Jared Lunn. Lund had tried to report that he had been assaulted earlier in the evening. In August 2010, Sellers was suspended for 45 days over the incident.The case was later reopened, presenting the possibility of additional punishment. You can read more about this article @ http://www.denverpost.com/ci_18271068
In January, 2009, Alexander Landau was beaten by three Denver Police Oﬃcers and received a $795,000 settlement in 2011, one of the largest settlements in Denver history to resolve a police brutality case. The police oﬃcers involved in the case were Oﬃcers Kevin Devine, Ricky Nixon, Tiﬀ any Middleton, and Corporal Randy Murr. Nixon and Middleton continue to serve with the department. In September 2013, the department fired Oﬃcers Ricky Nixon and Kevin Devine for lying during the investigation. The two were later reinstated by the Denver Civil Service Commission. You can learn more about this case @ http://www.cbsnews.com/news/alex-landau-after-denver-police-beating-thats-when-i-expected-to-be-shot/
In April, 2009 Corporal Randy Murr and Oﬃcer Devin Sparks threw Michael DeHerrea to the ground during an arrest outside of a downtown nightclub. The two were fired for lying during the subsequent investigation but returned to their jobs as a result of a hearing by the Denver Civil Service Commission. In September 2012, the panel reversed itself and fired the two men again. The city paid
$15,000 to settle the matter. Murr was the same oﬃcer involved in the Landau beating three months before. Randy Murr was rehired,
Sergeant Perry Speelman, and Oﬃcers Tab Davis and Jesse Campion stopped two men in 2009 and subjected them to a barrage of racial insults after they were illegally forced from their car. The judge in the case called the policemen's action "extreme, profane and racially motivated." In July 2012, the city council agreed to pay $60,000 to the two men beaten by three police oﬃcers. You can read more about this article @ http://denver.cbslocal.com/2013/02/20/denver-oﬃcer-fired-for-beating-to-get-his-job-back/
Press report show that in March 2010, O ﬃcer Hector Paez used threats of arrest to force himself on a woman. In December 2012, Oﬃcer Paez was found guilty of sexual assault, kidnapping and filing a false report. In 2013, he was sentenced to eight years in prison. Read more about this @ http://www.denverpost.com/ci_22699518/former-denver-cop-hector-paez-gets-8-years
In May, 2010, the city agreed to settle an excessive force lawsuit paying Eric Winfield $40,000.
Oﬃcers Glenn Martin, Antonio Milow, and Thomas Johnston beat Winfield when he was mistakenly identified as a person who had previously caused trouble at a nightclub. You can read more about this @ http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/man-gets-40-000-in-denver-police-brutality-suit
In June 2010, Denver police Oﬃcer Derrick Saunders was sentenced to 5 days in jail, fined $300, and ordered to perform 100 hours of community service after he had been arrested driving at 143 mph in a 55 mph zone. Press reports indicated that Saunders had a blood-alcohol level of .089 percent; the legal limit is .08 percent. In 2012, Saunders was returned to the police department by the city's civil service commission. You can read more about this @ http://kdvr.com/2013/02/13/denver-oﬃcer-caught-driving-143-mph-while-drunk-re-fired/
On August 18, 2010, the Denver Post reported about another alleged beating by the Denver Police. On March 16, 2010, Mark Ashford was walking his two dogs near the streets of 20th and Little Raven when he saw a police oﬃ cer pull over a driver who had run a stop sign. Ashford claiming that he saw the man stop at the stop sign approached the police car to volunteer information and to appear in court about the incident. Ashford claims that the oﬃcer "didn't like it at all" and asked Ashford his ID, which he provided. Afterwords, another Denver Police o ﬃcer arrived on scene and Ashford, who claims he was nervous, began taking photos of the two oﬃcers on his cell phone. In the HALO surveillance video released by the city & county of Denver, a Denver Police oﬃcer appears to hand Ashford back his ID and a piece of paper. Afterwards, Ashford pulls out his cell phone to photograph the two oﬃcers. The two oﬃcers approach Ashford and one of the oﬃcers grabs Ashford's hand in an attempt to get Ashford's cell phone. Ashford grabs one oﬃcer by the throat. The other oﬃcer also tries to help restrain Ashford. In the ensuing struggle Ashford tries to spin away from the oﬃ cers and is again thrust into the guardrail by the oﬃcers. Ashford's attorney, William Hart, claims that his client was arrested on suspicion of interference and resistance. After the incident, Ashford was taken to St. Andrew's Hospital where he was treated for a cut on his eye and a concussion. All charges have been dropped by the Denver City Attorney's o ﬃce. The oﬃcers were cleared following an investigation by Denver Police and Independent Monitor, Richard Rsenthal. Rosenthal found the oﬃcers' actions were justified. The city awarded Ashford $35,000, citing that they believed the o ﬃcers used excessive force and criticized Rosenthal for ruling their actions justified. One oﬃcer retired after the incident and one remains on the job. You can read about this @ http://www.denverpost.com/ci_15816360
In August 2010, the city agreed to pay $20,000 to James Watkins to settle a civil lawsuit. In the suit, Watkins claimed Oﬃcers John Ruddy and Randy Penn slammed his face into the pavement repeatedly after hearing him say, "cops suck" to a friend. You can read more about this @ http://denver.cbslocal.com/tag/james-watkins/
On July 2, 2014, Ryan Ronquillo was killed after allegedly attempting to ram his car into police at a funeral home. Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey declared the shooting justified amid protests. You can read more about this @ http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_26100032/ryan-ronquillos-family-seeks-answers-after-denver-police
On January 9th at 7:45 pm Sharod Kindel was pulled up on by the police and when police began detaining him he asked them "what have I done? I know my rights." It is then alleged that the cops immediately reached into his car and opened the door and pulled him out of his car. At the time the car was in reverse and when he was pulled out of his car the car hit an oﬃcer and they are charging him with assaulting the police.
According to eyewitness testimony upon surrendering he was shot 4 times and over 12 shots were
heard. He was surrendering with his hands up. Once through the palm, once in the arm, once in the
groin(this wound remains open and oozing) and once in the leg (his femoral artery was hit and he
almost bled out). He spent a very short time at Denver Health before they released him to the jail
where he has sat in solitary ever since. He is in serious pain and needs medication. His family is
requesting that we wage a call-in campaign against the jail and demand that he get medication for the
pain he is in and better conditions. You can read more about this in the second half of the following
On January 26, 2015 Jessie Hernandez was killed after allegedly attempting to ram a car into police. You can read more about this @ http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_27401430/community-leaders-march-justice-after-teen-girl-was