Alex Landau refuses to re-enact Denver cop beating
On January 29, 2009, Alex Landau was brutally beaten by Denver cops after they pulled him over for what they said was an illegal left turn -- but he charged was racial profiling.
And the City of Denver agreed -- or at least was worried enough about the federal lawsuit Landau filed to settle with Landau for $795,000.
But the Denver Police Department is still dragging out this case.
More than three years after Landau was pulled over, the DPD has not recommended any disciplinary action for the three cops involved: officers Ricky Nixon, Randy Murr and Tiffany Middleton. Murr and Nixon have already been fired in connection with other incidents -- Nixon for the Denver Diner scuffle, Murr for the Michael DeHerrera beating -- although both have appealed their terminations. And although Denver Police Chief Robert White had said he would make a disciplinary recommendation in connection with the Landau case -- including at this March 22 Citizen Oversight Board meeting (see it here) -- he missed a self-imposed deadline in mid-April, then one in early May.
And now he wants a re-enactment of the incident, involving all of the officers as well as Landau.
Landau, who filed his complaint more than three years ago, has declined to participate. "I find this to be not only extremely insulting to myself as a victim, but a dangerous step for our community," he said in a statement yesterday released by the Colorado Progressive Coalition, which has renewed its call for the Department of Justice to investigate the DPD. "Aside from these belittling factors, an accurate reenactment of events would be impossible to conduct from the officers' perspective because another major factor in my case is the degree of conflicting testimony between officers."
If the city wants a re-enactment of the incident, it can start by reading this January 2011 cover story by Joel Warner, in which Landau described how Murr, Nixon and Middleton beat him bloody with fists, flashlights and radios -- and backed up those charges with photos and an eyewitness account.
Chief White has expressed an interest in meeting with Westword. The Landau case is on the top of our agenda; we promise not to bring out our flashlights.
"I feel like it's a real eye-opener for other officers who may engage in this behavior," Landau said after the city settled his complaint in May 2011. "It seems like the city isn't going to stand for it anymore, which is good."
Alex Landau isn't the only one calling for a Department of Justice investigation into the DPD. Read more in "ACLU wants Department of Justice to investigate Denver Police."