Two Denver police officers who were found to have used excessive force and later to have lied on their reports documenting the situation are now back in blue, working desk jobs with the Denver Police Department and likely hoping to make it back on the streets. A civil service hearing panel determined their firing was unjust this week, much to the dismay of the victims of their beating and nearly anyone who saw the video.
The beating took place in April 2009 when two men were kicked out of a bar when one used the ladies room. Much of what happened next was caught on a video camera on a downtown Denver building. The cops can be seen beating the two men with a metal instrument as the men offer no resistance.
Both victims, Shawn Johnson and Michael DeHerrera were arrested and charged with interfering with officers (obstructing a peace officer) and not following a lawful order.
Initially, the cops were suspended without pay for three days by former safety manager Ron Parea. This year, Parea’s replacement Charles Garcia fired the duo. According to the panel, Garcia didn’t have a right to fire the officers because the initial punishment was approved and all time for appeals had lapsed.
This seems to suggest the overturning of their termination was purely based on policy. But the president of the Police Protective Association seems to think it’s because they were good cops. “At the end of the day, you actually have human beings who were out there trying to protect the public and were doing it and were darn good cops at the time. They will come back and they will be good cops again,” says Nick Rogers.
The victims of the beating and their families see the ruling in another light. “It was finally clear what was right and what was wrong and everybody agreed that they were wrong,” said DeHerrea. “So now to put that back up into the air is just ridiculous.”Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download
The now-acting Denver Manager of Safety doesn’t like the ruling either. In support of her predecessor’s firing of the officers, Ashley Kilroy says “I cannot and do not tolerate excessive force in our city’s safety agencies or departing from the truth by any of our employees.”
It isn’t clear what will happen next but it appears as if there are no additional recourse for appeals following the panel’s reinstatement of the officers.