Denver Diner police beating: Lawsuits accuse Denver Police Dept. of cover-up (PHOTOS)

Categories: News

denver diner police brutality cropped.jpg
Big pics below.
In April, Denver cops Ricky Nixon and Kevin Devine were fired in relation to a billy-clubbing and macing incident that took place in 2009.

Now, the four victims in that case have filed lawsuits against the City and County of Denver, charging that as much damage was done to them by bureaucracy as by the officers in question.

"The officers being fired is a start, but only a start," says attorney Siddhartha Rathod, who is representing victims Kelly Boren, Sharelle Thomas, Ana Ortega and Kristal Carrillo in conjunction with fellow lawyer Qusair Mohamedbhai. "These women were brutalized by Officer Nixon and Officer Devine, but the City of Denver then participated in the malicious prosecution of these women. And this isn't an isolated incident. The Denver Police Department has a culture of allowing its officers to brutalize people, of allowing its officers to lie and cover up."

sharelle thomas.jpg
Sharelle Thomas.
The suits filed in the names of Boron, Thomas, Ortega and Carrillo include frame-by-frame breakdowns of a HALO video of the incident; they're included below, along with a copy of Boren's complaint. But here's how Rathod summarizes the incident.

"On July 12, 2009, Officer Nixon was working in an off-duty capacity at the Denver Diner -- and he was in uniform," he says. A short time earlier, "Kristal had been a victim of an assault in the restroom. She was attacked by an unknown party and was defending herself when Officer Nixon grabbed her, dragged her outside, arrested her and handcuffed her. In the video, Ana comes outside -- she'd been in the bathroom with Kristal, and she can be seen telling Officer Nixon, 'She didn't do anything wrong.' But he's basically not listening to her, so she walks a little bit away.

"Just at that time, Sharelle and Kelly arrive. Sharelle had just graduated from Colorado Christian Academy, and they arrived via pedicab. They're walking straight to the door when Officer Devine, who's smoking a big cigar, can be seen coming in from the right side of the video and pushes Sharelle. She stumbles forward, and when she stands back up, she says something to the effect of 'You can't treat me that way,' which any citizen should be able to say to an officer or anyone else in that situation."

At that point, Rathod goes on, "Officer Devine pulls out his nightstick and starts waving it in Sharelle's face. He then grabs her by the arm and starts pulling her toward where Kristal is on the ground in handcuffs. He's about to strike Sharelle with his nightstick, but stops inches away. Kelly then steps in between Sharelle and Officer Devine, to stop him from striking her in the face -- and Officer Devine grabs Kelly by the neck and throws her. And he's a big guy, She goes completely off the ground. And then he grabs Sharelle and yanks her onto the ground, and Officer Nixon pins her down.

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Kelly Boren.
"Ana sees all this, and she's saying, 'What are you doing?' when Officer Devine, still smoking the cigar, grabs her and throws her down to her knees. Then he takes her arm behind her back and puts his nightstick into her shoulder -- and right as he's about to assault her, Officer Nixon pulls out his mace and sprays it maybe two inches from her face before taking a couple steps to the left and macing Sharelle and Kelly."

Ortega was subsequently handcuffed, as was Thomas -- and Rathod points out that assorted officers on the scene offered no help to the maced women even as they treated their own eyes with saline solution. Amid this scene, "Anna, who had been on her knees, stands up and asks for help, and Officer Nixon grabs her by the throat with both of his hands and slams her to the ground. Kristal then tried to help her, and Officer Nixon slams his fist full-force into her face."

As Rathod points out, none of the women had done anything wrong -- and Carrillo was actually a victim of an attack before the officers took charge. Nonetheless, only Thomas was released, while the other three were charged with assorted infractions because "Officer Nixon and Officer Devine falsified police reports and fabricated charges," he maintains.

The HALO video of the incident was never produced during the criminal cases against Carrillo, Ortega and Boren. They didn't know of its existence until officers Nixon and Devine were fired earlier this year. After their sacking, Westword confirmed that Nixon had also been involved in the beating of Alexander Landau. The incident led to a settlement with Landau for $795,000.

Lacking this information, Carrillo, Ortega and Boren pleaded to a deferred judgment -- one that would eventually wipe the incident from their records. But Rathod says they would never have done so had the City of Denver provided the video and other exculpatory evidence, which would have given them the tools to prove that they'd done nothing wrong and the officers had lied.

Thomas suffered in a different way. She was hospitalized after the Denver Diner incident, and what Rathod calls "foreign debris" was removed from her eye. A year later, she had to undergo eye surgery.

siddhartha rathod.jpg
Siddhartha Rathod.
The lawsuits against Denver and the officers were originally filed in state court this past July -- "but recently, the City of Denver and the police officers removed the case to federal court," Rathod allows. "We think it's ironic that the City of Denver doesn't want a Denver jury to decide what happens to the Denver Police Department." The four cases remain separate, but he expects them to be consolidated in the future.

In addition, Carrillo, Ortega and Boren "are trying to go back and withdraw their original guilty plea," he says. "That's not going to affect their civil case, but it's a matter of principle, a matter of right and wrong. What happened to these women, from the assault to the prosecution, was wrong -- anybody who takes the time to listen to the story of these women can see that. And I think, clearly, the citizens of Denver have seen that.

"These four women were brutally assaulted and maced by officers Nixon and Devine. They were then wrongfully prosecuted by the City and County of Denver. And absent people with the courage of these four women to step forward and say, 'This conduct is wrong,' this kind of thing is going to keep happening."

Look below to see a CBS4 report featuring excerpts from the HALO video, a frame-by-frame breakdown featuring text from one of the suits, and the Boren complaint.


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23 comments
acsmith1972
acsmith1972

So the dummy that watched and said they did everything right suggests all officers punch women in the face that are handcuffed and have already been maced? If that's the proper procedure in Colorado it means the police out there are pussies that would otherwise get their asses kicked by handcuffed women.

Collinitzki
Collinitzki

Colorado cops are the champs when it comes to brutality, corruption and dereliction of duty. Seems like there's a new incident every week.

DPD=Thugs,Rapists&Liars
DPD=Thugs,Rapists&Liars

http://womenandpolicing.com/vi...

Police Family Violence Fact Sheet

Two studies have found that at least 40% of police officer families experience domestic violence, (1, 2) in contrast to 10% of families in the general population.(3) A third study of older and more experienced officers found a rate of 24% (4), indicating that domestic violence is 2-4 times more common among police families than American families in general. A police department that has domestic violence offenders among its ranks will not effectively serve and protect victims in the community.5, 6, 7, 8 Moreover, when officers know of domestic violence committed by their colleagues and seek to protect them by covering it up, they expose the department to civil liability.7

ROWDY
ROWDY

BARBARIANS!!!  What an embarrassment to the human race!!!  Getting off on beating INNOCENT, helpless women who are begging them not to hurt them!!! 

Gwoodfo
Gwoodfo

just sickening... for shame

Sharpshooter
Sharpshooter

Hey, Officer Pusscake! Yeah, you, fatass, with the cigar in your mouth! You like beating up girls? Make you feel like a manly man? Is it helping with your erectile dysfunction? Do you have to slap your wife and mistress around like that before you can tell the difference between your rifle and your gun? Maybe I ought to ask your skinhead boyfriend, he seems to like punching womens tickets, too! I bet you two talk all kinds of tough shit about your fearsome exploits while you're pumping each other down at the gym, don'tcha? Yeah, you're a real tough guy. There isn't a tampon big enough to stuff up a pussy the size of you. Good luck @ McDonalds, fuckstick!

Exador
Exador

After they win their case against the city, sue the officers personally.  Go after their pensions, their homes, dock their future wages.  Only after enough personal judgements will these officers know they are not immune.

Jimmy
Jimmy

Why did take so long to fire these shitbags?  Were they busy sucking the cocks of the city attorney's office?

Mrs. A
Mrs. A

omg....how sad........

Graeme
Graeme

Those cops are pussies. Can't bother to do their job, just wanna hit women. Also, since one was off duty, why isn't he being charged with assault? He was acting as a civilian, regardless of him being uniformed. Stack the charges onto those sad little men.

Stealth2
Stealth2

Any headshots of the cop? I mean, the victims, perhaps, but a possible criminal loose on the streets who has a history of beating innocent victims? Yeah, I'd like to be able to recognize him, please.

RyanJohnSmith
RyanJohnSmith

Does anyone else think that by requiring Denver swine to have a college degree, a la Lakewood, that it would cut down on the applicants simply looking for a job where they are given such power with the least amount of work ? Does anyone believe that people with college educations would seek to become filth ? Besides the ones that really had an interest in protecting people ?

Pete
Pete

This type of brutality happens everyday because, instead of oversite the police have  cozy relationships with the local prosecutors and courts. They are not only allowed but, acually encouraged to lie in their reports and  on the witness stand by DA's looking to make their conviction records . If caught, they are never changed with perjury like you or I would be. 97%  of people charged with crime plead guilty because they know the deck is stacked against them. We lead the world in  sending innocent  people to prison. Faced with this criminal "justice" system these women (like everybody else) cut a deal. They didn't wind up in prison (for doing nothing wrong) but, now they have a record, a record which will be used against them the next time they have an interaction with the police. I hope these women prevail in the Federal Courts but I wouldn't hold out to much hope. The authorities have already worked the system to their distinct advantage, as they always do, by moving the trial away from a jury of decent people in Denver. Watch out for a bench trial with a  judge whos allegiance is in perserving the status quo by protecting the these prosecutors. A local jury was really their only chance at what litte justice chould have been available to them. The authorities knew that and moved the venue.

Guest
Guest

Devine looks like the type of guy that is well known city wide for stuffing brown tubular objects in his mouth and sucking on them no matter what else is going on. Not to mention looking like 300 lbs. of shit crammed in a 10 pound blue sack. Just once I'd like to see some fat lump of crap Denver cop like him try this shit on a Navy SEAL or combat trained Marine and watch that porker get his guts pulled out his asshole by a REAL tough guy. Given the number of incidents DPD is involved in, the odds favor something like that happening eventually.

Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake
Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake

Consult the Milgram and/or Stanford Prison Experiments. Education has very little if anything to do with it.

Red
Red

And BTW- I do believe that the law applied in this case will be CO. law, not Federal law. I am curious as to the grounds cited for removal to Federal court- the article is not clear on that.

Red
Red

ok- It's in Federal Court. Big deal. The jury pool is STILL going to drawn from the citizens of Denver- and the plaintiffs have an absolute right to a jury. It's NOT the judge's decision, nor is it the defendant's alone (tho' he can request a jury even if the plaintiffs want a bench trial). Federal juries are drawn from the local population.So- it's still going to be a local jury. Unless they plan to bus them in from Montana?

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

We need a new DA in Denver -- will Morrissey's name be the only one on the ballot again in 2012?

RyanJohnSmith
RyanJohnSmith

Mmmkay " Captain "

Education is TOTALLY overrated; You're right !

Now go get your shine box piggy.

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