Police brutality: Cop reinstated before city has completed Alex Landau inquiry

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Alexander-Landau-police-beating-1.jpg
Alex Landau.
The decision of the Civil Service Commission to reinstate cops Ricky Nixon and Kevin Devine, who'd been sacked over an alleged 2009 brutality incident at the Denver Diner, is controversial in and of itself.

But this twist becomes even more incendiary considering that Nixon was also involved in the 2009 beating of Alex Landau -- and a promised investigation into that incident, which prompted a $795,000 settlement, still hasn't been completed.

According to a lawsuit filed last year, Denver Police officers Nixon and Devine collectively roughed up and maced four women at the Denver Diner in July 2009. Last September, their attorney, Siddhartha Rathod, stressed that none of the women had done anything wrong, and one had actually been the victim of an assault prior to police involvement. He also accused Nixon and Devine of falsifying reports and fabricating charges. As a result, three of the women entered guilty pleas in an effort to make the accusations go away -- actions they subsequently tried to withdraw.

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A video image from the Denver Diner incident.
In April 2011, then-Manager of Safety Charles Garcia fired Nixon and Devine for the alleged falsehoods. However, as the Denver Post reports in a piece linked above, the commission determined that the inaccuracies in their reports were not submitted with "an intent to deceive or hide the truth." As such, the officers have been reinstated and will receive back pay and benefits.

The next month, the Denver City Council voted to pay Landau $795,000 for an assault that took place in January 2009, approximately six months before the Denver Diner incident. At that time, Nixon (who was also involved in a 2006 fatal shooting) stopped Landau for a minor traffic infraction, during which he attempted to search the vehicle's trunk. When Landau asked Nixon if he had a warrant authorizing him to do so, the officer allegedly responded by punching him in the face -- a pummeling that was joined by two other officers who subsequently arrived at the scene. Landau sustained a broken nose, lacerations and closed-head injuries at their hands.

Didn't the settlement close that case? No, says John Holland, an attorney who worked with Landau. A press release marking the council's approval of payment noted that "the Police Department and City have also agreed, as part of this settlement, that the re-opened IAB investigation of the involved officers in this case will be completed, including as to Randy Murr and Ricky Nixon, who have now both been fired."

What's the status of that investigation? Today, Holland was told by city officials that "they are still working on it." But this response hardly satisfies him.

"I'm not saying it isn't being done," he stresses. "I'm saying it hasn't been done. And it has gone on too long."

Page down to read more of our interview with attorney Holland.


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17 comments
acsmith1972
acsmith1972

So if they sodomized him with  a plunger that'd be a violation, but nothing else is? I mean how much more extreme do police have to be? Do they have to kill unarmed people and frame them like in New Orleans? Isn't there something we can do to stop them before that?

RockyMissouri
RockyMissouri

Does Denver have a problem like New Orleans - regarding its' cops.......???

Guest
Guest

They should really clean house in that department!!

Jamesdhaper3
Jamesdhaper3

Alex is one of my good friends. He is a good guy to pursue the immortality of the DPD. He is very outspoken, smart, educated, and strong willed.

Delic
Delic

*I think.... not I don't think

Delic
Delic

I watched the DPD assault someone for "resisting arrest"... Although I don't think throwing punches and kicks at someone who is already restrained, is beyond excessive. Not to mention dragging a suspect across the concrete while their hands are cuffed behind their back... I was subsequently arrested for "interference with a police officer" when I was in the process of walking away from the situation only because I had witness their obscene abuse of power and vicious assault on an unarmed individual. DPD needs to be put in check, I know they have already killed, I'm sure they will kill again.

UberMoi
UberMoi

The justice system is corrupt, starting with the unaccountable police departments up to the judges, juries and the for profit prison system.  The entire system is flawed and it's a good ol' boys club, with the citizens paying the price.

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Strong post, UberMoi. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Miguel Lopez
Miguel Lopez

remember this is district 6! that hahs most of these problems.

Matt Ventura-Paul
Matt Ventura-Paul

All I got to say is! Power tripping pigs. How's doe's everyone like the police state, created under the patriot act?

Guest
Guest

Sounds to me like it's past time that some of these pigs fall down REAL hard, on a hail of bullets.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

DPD is rife with criminality and incompetence from top to bottom.  Charging someone with incitement to riot for standing calmly in front of a police car, charging someone else with "clinging to a vehicle" who was inside it at the time -- DPD is used to making it up as they go along, and their superiors condone and participate in perjury.  Denver is a long way from having a professional police department, for all of having many decent officers -- we all deserve an entirely new administration!

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