A Citizen Oversight Board which is tasked for reviewing police action recently released two reports, both taking issue with the level of punishment meted out in two separate cases of police misconduct. The Chief of Police is questioning the process by which the Board reviews cases and claims law enforcement doesn’t have the chance to defend their actions before an opinion is reached.
The Citizen Oversight Board is made up of seven members, appointed by the Mayor and approved by the city council. They hear reports from an Independent Monitor that is tasked with reviewing “investigations into allegations of police misconduct”, according to the Denver Post.
The two cases in question include one in which the citizen claims he was roughed up by an officer when complaining that the officer didn’t press charges in another case, and another case in which a police beating was actually videotaped.
In both cases, the Independent Monitor and ultimately the Review Board determined the punishments on the three officers were not severe enough. The Board’s Chairwoman has called for the firing of the two officers in the second, video-taped case, a recommendation that has not yet been heeded.
The Police Chief states that his department should have an opportunity to be heard before the board and given the same respect as the Monitor. He says, “You have to know all the facts before you make a decision,” stating that the Board doesn’t have the complete story. Others, including members of the community, believe the video speaks for itself.
The victim of the police beating is seen talking on his cell phone before he is beaten, tackled, and thrown in the squad car before getting the car door slammed on his leg. The police Safety Manager initially suspended two officers in the videoed beating without pay before determining there was no excessive force and reinstating them to duty.
While it’s true, we don’t always hear both sides of the story from the local news, seeing a citizen being beaten by police without having any repercussions doled out seems more than slightly suspect. And it’s just this kind of coverage that leads people to distrust the police even more than they already do.
A high stress situation like an arrest can quickly get out of hand. Particularly when someone is under the influence, in a DUI for instance, tempers can boil over and poor judgment calls made. It is precisely in these type of high stress situations that the police should be able to maintain order and control their own reactions.
If you were arrested for DUI charges and now face additional charges of resisting arrest or impeding the actions of the police, you need help. Because video evidence isn’t usually present, cases like this often turn into a you vs. them situation.
Call our attorneys to discuss the details of the charges you face. We are willing to hear what you have to say and give you an honest opinion about your situation.