Marvin Booker death: Denver Sheriff Department members cleared (VIDEO)

marvin booker photo cropped.JPG
Marvin Booker
The five officers involved in restraining Marvin Booker in July 2010 at the Van Cise-Simonet Detention Center -- an incident that ultimately led to his death -- will be not face criminal charges.

Instead, they're scheduled to meet today with Director of Corrections Gary Wilson about when they will return to work.

"I conclude that the five deputies involved in this matter did not violate the department's use of force policy or any other departmental rules as they relate to these incidents," said Denver Manager of Safety Charles Garcia after a group of reporters were shown the video. "Therefore, no disciplinary actions will be ordered.

"Was the level of force appropriate?" he asked. "Once again, the answer is yes."

In a press conference today in the basement of the Detention Center, Sheriff Department and Denver city officials, including Mayor Bill Vidal, announced their findings and released a 42-page report as well as the long-withheld video of the incident, taken during the early morning hours of July 9. Wilson also announced that the carotid "sleeper" hold, thought to be a contributing factor in Booker's death by anti-violence protesters who marched on Friday, would no longer be used. Booker, 56, had cocaine in his system, which was determined to be a contributing factor in his death.

Update: Booker family calls for FBI, Justice Department to investigate.

During the struggle, Sergeant Carrie Rodriguez placed a Taser against Booker's right thigh and "drive stunned" -- using it without firing projectiles -- him for eight seconds, a method that is supposed to be less harmful to the inmate. The report notes that Booker stopped resisting after being Tased.

wilson.jpg
Gary Wilson.
Booker was carried into the cell, but at least one deputy said he seemed alive at that point (see page 19 of the report). The last grunt of Booker's life came when deputies laid him on the floor of the cell (page 18). Soon after, deputies noticed he wasn't moving and an on-duty nurse was called. The fire department later arrived and took life support measures.

Booker was transported to Denver Health and Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 4:33 a.m., an hour after the incident began.

Booker's family filed suit against the City of Denver in February. On Monday morning, Mayor Vidal and other officials watched the video for the first time with the family. The city originally offered to show the video to the family but without the family's lawyer, an offer the family declined.

Below is the full report. As Deputy Manager of Safety Ashley Kilroy pointed out while providing narration to reporters, the video shows the last moments of Booker's life.

Below is raw footage from Monday's press conference:

More from our News archive: "Marvin Booker video: DA's office on why it can't release footage of man who died in Denver jail."


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36 comments
Ddcittrg
Ddcittrg

You are all so f?!$&@$ stupid, there are more black cops in Denver than whites !!! by federal mandate !!! (affirmative action or reverse racisism actually ) and as far as the "just getting his shoes" one small thing after another means inmates decide what they get to do, its a jail people not the Hilton, and where was all this love when he was a homeless crackhead !!! Hi ho hi another crackhead pos off the street :) job well done Denver, and no I'm. Not a cop but I am military so I know alittle something about shutting your bleeding heart tree hugging tofu farthing a@@ up when told! You take away police authority then don't cry like a b**** when he's breaking into ur house!!

Kyle
Kyle

So you are an idiot that couldn't get the grades for college?

George
George

Police spokesman: "Was the level of force appropriate?" he asked. "Once again, the answer is yes."

Mr. Booker was casually strolling back to his seat to get his shoes when he was attacked. If we were talking about normal human behavior we would expect them to just let him get his shoes. No problem!

But the policewoman became aggressive, and the rest of the police responded by becoming aggressive too. Where's the excuse? If this had happened out on the street the woman would've been arrested for assault. That's the standard that should be applied: what would common sense and common humanity expect?

littleinger
littleinger

Moral of the story: When the cops show up, SUBMIT! Just like the slave you are. Doesn't matter whether you are a black man, a teenager, an old white lady... just submit. And if you can't stand the heat... stay out of the City and County of Denver. I do, as much as possible.

Kuei
Kuei

"When the cops show up, SUBMIT!"

Spoken like a true american coward.

rosiedogy1
rosiedogy1

The Denver Police are a bunch of murderous cowards! The Booker family should be allowed to put each and every one of those PIGS in a sleeper hold and tazer them until they are dead! The city is just asking for another uprising by ignoring this! Sounds like a good time to stay out of downtown Denver for a while! I hope the Booker family keeps fighting this! My prayers are with the Booker family!

Makemoney68
Makemoney68

If a civilian did that exact same thing that those sheriffs did to Marvin Booker would they be cleared and no charges brought against them? And if they were to be cleared then let us, the Black community, have the sheriffs that did that.

Lindannaji
Lindannaji

Why taser a dead man when i'm sure the local hospital mogue would let you practice on the bodies that are donated to science.

shackhouser
shackhouser

Am I the only one seeing this but didn't Mr. Booker look dead already when they picked him up? If you look at the first sequence of tape you can see his head hanging down limp when they pick him up and he never raises it. He looks dead already to me....

shackhouser
shackhouser

Who is gonna protect us from these gorillas with badges? The Denver Manager of Safety, Charles Garcia is one man against an obviously corrupted police force, Sheriff included, and I feel he had no choice but to find these officers not guilty of anything. How long is he gonna last by actually disciplining officers in every brutality case. I feel he is taking baby steps and unfortunately, the murder of Marvin Booker was collateral damage as he had to take on for the team. Quite a tragedy if u ask me.

Ray Denonville
Ray Denonville

Look at the video several times, it is a perfect execution. Look at the size of the cops, they smothered him with their weight. When they were satisfied he was dead, they picked him up by his ankles and arms and carried the body off. The Manager of Public Safety is nothing but a crooked lawyer from the corrupt Denver Public Defender's Office. Before this video was made public, a Judge made a comment something like "obedience is mandatory" The corrupt government of the City and County of Denver once more should be brought before United States District Court.

Drumdude
Drumdude

This idiot jailer puts this guy in a choke hold for 2 1/2 minutes and we expect a different result than what we got. A taser, a choke hold and five bodies on top of you would kill anyone. In the UFC they stop a choke hold immediatley because of this exact situation. Protect and serve. Who protects us from them.

Ray Denonville
Ray Denonville

Of course the Manager of Public Safety cleared the "overkill" used by the Denver Sheriff's. The Manager of Public Safety was appointed from the staff of the Denver Public Defender's Office. An investigation, I am confident will reveal a longstanding conspiracy between Denver Police Commander John Lamb, Denver City Attorney's Office, Denver Public Defender's Office and seated Denver County Court Judges.

NAAC Copwatch
NAAC Copwatch

Lets take look at another black man who was never mentioned that died in custody in denver city jail. Rahn Northington was arrested at Denver health and hospital over an altercation with his mother his death happend about two years ago. I my self done some exzammanning of the body of Mr Northington and found inconsistancys with police accounts of his death personally I think his body should be exzumned and re exzamned. Rahn was an only child his death left his very elderly mother shattered and to fend for her ailling self and she has no other family to turn to. My hopes are that this blog will find its way to getting this case reopened and find the truth about his death his mother is poor and cannot afford an attorney. I personally belive his death was at the hands of law enforcement and this case needs to be exposed. If there is anyone out there with more information about this case or would like to help help to bring this matter to light please contact the National Association of American Copwatch at NAAC@comcast.net

Jcjochavez9
Jcjochavez9

i mean come on he was just trying to get his shoes thats just imbarasing police are the bigest gang in all the country

Jcjochavez9
Jcjochavez9

just because he was colored he couldnt go get his shoes but i bet u if it was a white person they wouldnt have done nothing thats not right that the police didnt charge them with nothing

darkphoenix
darkphoenix

This is a textbook case for excited delirium people. Excited delirium is a condition that manifests as a combination of delirium, psychomotor agitation, anxiety, hallucinations, speech disturbances, disorientation, violent and bizarre behavior, insensitivity to pain, elevated body temperature, and superhuman strength http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E...

Why do you think it took so many people to restrain Mr Booker? Add the drugs and alcohol and the subject in question is even more difficult to stop. Robert, what experience do you have to make such bold accusations? That "methodical strangling" you so arrogantly referred to is a common martial arts and law enforcement technique called the Carotid Restraint to restrain a violent person that is impervious to pain compliance. http://aussiejujitsu.wetpaint.... Shame on Denver? Shame on YOU.

It's disgusting how quickly you all just assume the worst simply because "the news" reports what they want you to hear, not the entire details. These officers are out there every day risking their lives, dealing with VERY violent offenders, and you all b**ch and moan about it. They are dealing with violent gang members, wife and child beaters/killers, sex offenders, and etc. while others turn a blind eye, or run away from someone in need of help.

Also consider that you clearly do not know everything. Booker has a long history of violence towards officers. This was no unusual moment for him. Booker's death was indeed tragic, and I will not deny that. However, to call it murder is way out of line. The officers reacted by the book, and in accordance to state statute.

I also find it amusing how the family hasn't been around all these years while he was living on the streets, yet now that there is money involved they come out of the woodwork.

Makemoney68
Makemoney68

so this would explain why paul childs was killed? Got ya' dark phoenix.

shackhouser
shackhouser

Hey dude, no one is relying on anything the the "News" says. People are now able to view the tape. Are u saying that what everyone is seeing is an illusion. Oh wait, I think Mr. Booker moved his leg, hes not complying, choke him harder.....Our lives and safety are in danger......I have to go home to my kids tonight........I'm a hero..........

mr obvious
mr obvious

These officers are out there every day risking their lives, dealing with VERY violent offenders, and you all b**ch and moan about it. They are dealing with violent gang members, wife and child beaters/killers, sex offenders, and etc.

yeah.......a sixty ear old man trying to get his shoes is not really anything close to what you described. nice talking points though. maybe faux news has an opening now that beck has been fired.

shackhouser
shackhouser

So where are all these tapes of brave police officers battling violent gang members alone in a dark alley somewhere. You know why you don't see it is because it doesn't happen. The country just keeps seeing tape after tape of a gang of cops piled on top of one man, beating him with flashlights, whatever, and then acting like they were in some sort of danger.....The problem is that there is a certain personality type that is attracted to this type of work and until the department puts a filter in place, this problem is not going anywhere. Even the nursing staff at the jail looked the other way while this was going on because its easier to come to work everyday and not give a sh*t about how you treat people if the people you are dealing with are generally criminals. Its easy to just say oh well, he was a crackhead, and go drink your coffee.

Guest
Guest

I did not see any evidence that any of the officers involved were concerned for booker's wellbeing as his body laid limp, lifeless. He should have received medical attention. Officers should have checked his breathing and pulse when he went unconscious as a direct result of the struggle. Instead, they carried him off like a hunter with a fresh kill. It is sad that you defend the actions of the police officers when they clearly went above and beyond to handle the situation completely wrong. If booker was a respected man...an asset to the community...perhaps a doctor, firefighter, or young college student...would you still see their actions as justified?

Robert
Robert

That so many officers acted to subdue Marvin Booker apparently had more to do with how many were immediately available (as opposed to some sort of predetermination as to how many would be required as suggested by your rhetorical question). Just watch the video without narration or commentary, as I did -- I do not accept that either the carotid hold (the use of which was just renounced by the Department of Safety) or the tasering were necessary to restrain Mr. Booker. Deputies' actions were reckless (in my judgment), and caused Mr. Booker's death (according to the coroner). They should be tried for manslaughter by a jury of their peers. That they followed orders ("the book") just means that their superiors are culpable too.

Unlike some of my anarchist fellow-travellers, I accept the need for police, and I want the the laws and regulations under which they operate to be just and reasonable, and for them to be equally subject to the same ones applied to civilians) -- that is the surest way to inculcate respect for the laws and the police, and that is what will best reward their willingness to risk their own wellbeing for others.

I do know a little about Mr. Booker, and he might have keeled over and died right about then anyway without the help (though we'll never know), but your allusion to his past violence towards officers hardly serves to exculpate the deputies -- quite the opposite. You close with a nasty, gratuitous dig at his family -- that would be by way of adding insult to murder I suppose. It certainly cements an impression of you as an apologist for this officially sanctioned killing, and I am sure there are many like you here -- shame on Denver!

Guest
Guest

Definitely murder. He was dead before they even carried him out of the room and I didn't see a single person check for a pulse. Not breathing and not moving equals dead.

Dawna Teal
Dawna Teal

Every city should have a good look at Denver police in the process of murdering a man so that they can see for themselves that there was absolutely no justification for what they did!

Beavis
Beavis

I'm sure the LAPD is taking copious notes.

Guest
Guest

Look at these fucking apes. Five of them to take down an old man? I surprised they didn't hang him from a tree and burn a cross while they were at it. These cops should not be returning to work, they should be going to trial for manslaughter.

Robert
Robert

The video appears to show one officer methodically strangling Mr. Booker. That officer must be charged with manslaughter, and any of his superiors who trained or condoned such conduct should face criminal and civil liability as well. District Attorney Mitch Morrissey must be removed from office immediately for malfeasance and complicity in this murder and others. The City's maladministration has declared that that it holds a prerogative to murder -- the People of Denver (at least some of us) emphatically reject this outrage. Shame on Denver!!!

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Robert, thanks for the post, which we're going to make an upcoming Comment of the Day. Congrats.

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