Police brutality: Reinstated cop still faces lawsuit in Denver Diner case

denver diner police brutality cropped.jpg
Big photos below.
Denver's Civil Service Commission has reinstated officers Ricky Nixon and Kevin Devine, who'd been fired for their actions in an alleged brutality incident at the Denver Diner in 2009.

But a lawsuit over the matter is still alive, and the attorney representing the plaintiffs expresses shock and dismay that Nixon and Devine are back on the job.

"There's no excuse to reinstate these officers," says Siddhartha Rathod, who is representing victims Kelly Boren, Sharelle Thomas, Ana Ortega and Kristal Carrillo in conjunction with fellow lawyer Qusair Mohamedbhai. "They endangered the lives of our clients, and by reinstating them, Denver is endangering the lives of all Coloradans."

sharelle thomas.jpg
Sharelle Thomas.
Here's how Rathod summarized the incident for us in September.

"On July 12, 2009, Officer Nixon was working in an off-duty capacity at the Denver Diner -- and he was in uniform," he said. Earlier that evening, "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.

"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 continued, "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 pointed 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."

None of the women had done anything wrong, Rathod noted, 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 maintained.

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, which took place before the occurrences at the Denver Diner, 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 argued that 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 they'd done nothing wrong and the officers had lied.

Nonetheless, the Civil Service Commission ruled that Nixon and Devine should be allowed to don their uniforms again, as well as receive back pay. Why?

Page down to get more details about the case.


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12 comments
Tim
Tim

The article doesn't read like journailism.  It reads like a Defense Lawyer trying to spin his drunken disruptive clients version of events.

They were drunk, they resisted commands, and the situation could have gotten worse had the officers not did what they did.

As to any charges against the officers, that's what happens when you have PC minded, gutless city officals who are more than willing to sacrifice officers to protect themselves from lawsuits.

Police often have to use force.  It's rarely pretty.  And the type of person who puts themselves into that situation, along with the urging of race pimps and slimy ambulance chasing lawyers will act like victims.  Sadly, victims of actual police brutality are caught up in this general view of all claims.

This however wasn't one of those cases.  

The "reporter" like your typical Defense Lawyer has never met a person  who was guilty or a person, on who some force option was used, that isn't a BOO-HOO victim.

The reporter is still trying to deal with their daddy issues (which translate into hating the police) and their own brushes with the law.

Light Rail Tattler
Light Rail Tattler

Bar rush at the Denver Diner is what it is: a bunch of unpredictable drunks.In the nineties there was an argument in front of the cash register.The argument turned into a knife being used to surgically open the opponents belly.      Both the large and small intestine fell out of the man's belly onto the floor in front of the register.The man died. The Denver Diner probably was forced to hire  DPD as security as a requirement of the insurance company.There's always a disturbance, two or three at the Denver Diner and Pete's Kitchen during Bar Rush on the weekends.Fighting is illegal in Denver and even if it is self-defence, you will have to prove your innocence before a corrupt tribunal of Denver Magistrates, City Attorneys and Public Defenders.Don't fight.

Guest
Guest

the unfortunate truth is that the average citizen no longer trusts their police department. until a couple of these pigs get shot the brutality  will continue.

woefatcat
woefatcat

Funny. And your comment reads like a prosecutor blaming the victim. How tough do these cops look to you? You act as if the two were facing a gaggle of Hells Angels and not  a few women. You should rethink the "type of person who puts themselves into that situation". Because many times in cases of police brutality it starts with a citizen who knows their rights and what a police officer is constitutionally allowed to do. The trouble usually begins when the po-po decide that their gun and badge and the powers that will protect them need to show this lowly person what he thinks of their "rights".

Miguel Lopez
Miguel Lopez

This is all Whitmans mentality and now hes on S.W.A.T.! who is gonna complain after he gives the order for them to shoot! Fire him especially! And Governor Hickenloopers racist campaign called broken windows police policy while he was Mayor of Denver. Of course he took this idea from a republican! Mayor Gulianni of N.Y.

Tim
Tim

Well, the last police funeral I attended was the result of a 5'4" African-American lady who was intoxicated, in an argument with another intoxicated female (sounding familar yet?) and who had a 4 inch pocket knife in her hand.

She didn't even mean to stab the officer, he was just trying to pull her back from the other woman, when, while holding the pocketknife, she swung it back right into his leg.

It hit his femoral artery.  He was dead before EMS arrived.

So, yes anyone can post a damage.  Again, you sound like someone with daddy issues yourself.  Perhaps they don't like your choice of friends, your sexual orientation, or who knows.  

As to a person "person knowing their rights,"  every drunk thinks he knows his or her rights and rarely do they know what they are talking about.  They are just arguing.

You remind me of the genius who once told me, I couldn't arrest him, because I didn't have my hat on.

His arrest was NOT, shock to you jail house lawyer, overturned, by the Supreme Court.

Tim
Tim

Well, the last police funeral I attended was the result of a 5'4" African-American lady who intoxicated, in an argument with another intoxicated female (sounding familar yet?) and who had a 4 inch pocket knife in her hand.

She didn't even mean to stab the officer, he was just trying to pull her back from the other woman, when, while holding the pocketknife, she swung it back right into his leg.

It hit his femoral artery.  He was dead before EMS arrived.

So, yes anyone can post a damage.  Again, you sound like someone with daddy issues yourself.  Perhaps they don't like your choice of friends, your sexual orientation, or who knows.  

As to a person "person knowing their rights,"  every drunk thinks he knows his or her rights and rarely do they know what they are talking about.  They are just arguing.

You remind me of the genius who once told me, I couldn't arrest him, because I didn't have my hat on.

His arrest was NOT, shock to you jail house lawyer overturned due to that, by the Supreme Court.

Samuel Stray
Samuel Stray

   You sound like someone impersonating a Red Neck Cop on the TV show Dukes of Hazard.I understand too well what goes on during Bar Rush at the Denver Diner and I side with the Denver Police working at Denver Diner and Pete's Kitchen. I consider the complaint filed in U.S.D.C. to be frivolous.   On the other hand, if the photograph of the police brutality, the man's face is authentic and not digitally manipulated, Denver has a problem.

Light Rail Tattler
Light Rail Tattler

   You sound like a police impersonator to me. I don't recall a Denver Police officer killed by being stabbed in the leg.   I attended the police funeral for Officer Donnie assassinated by a criminal alien on John Hickenlooper's payroll as a dishwasher at Duffy's Cherry Cricket; a Bar owned by John Hickenlooper (too cheap too hire an American)

Light Rail Tattler
Light Rail Tattler

   You sound like a police impersonator to me. I don't recall a Denver Police officer killed by being stabbed in the leg.   I attended the police funeral for Officer Donnie assassinated by a criminal alien on John Hickenlooper's payroll as a dishwasher at Duffy's Cherry Cricket; a Bar owned by John Hickenlooper (too cheap too hire an American)

MrEFQ
MrEFQ

" Again, you sound like someone with daddy issues yourself. Perhaps they don't like your choice of friends, your sexual orientation, or who knows." Project much? There is nothing in woefatcat that would suggest anything near that. You are just out of your mind. But please continue to make a fool out of yourself. Its entertaining!

beebs
beebs

people like you scare me. Justified brutality behind your shield is disgusting...still dealing with brutality, correct? 

reminds me of the Oakland Bart shootings recently...young little punks (the kind you and your friends have problems with) but who are teenagers, and who isn't a twat at 15? Enough to get shot in the back for "mouthing off" as you called it? No. 

So, please....get justifications for something else instead of spouting the bullshit that is your thought process...."it's better for cops to maintan order-by abusing that order" 

f-off

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