Alex Landau beating: Denver cops puts case on pause as FBI investigates

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Alex Landau now.
Update, 1:15 p.m. June 4:Although the investigation was made public only this morning, the Department of Justice contacted Landau at the end of April and began trading e-mails with his attorney, John Holland. Representatives asked Landau to stay quiet about the investigation in the interim as they began interviews with him and others involved in the case. And while the investigation is not the department-wide practices review that Landau hoped for, it is a step in the right direction, he says.

"One thing that really irks me is that the state feels the need to wait for the federal level to take over," Landau says. "They're two completely separate investigations that should not depend on each other. For me, it feels like the city just passed on its disciplinary responsibilities and gave them to the DOJ."

In the three-and-a-half years he has awaited a disciplinary recommendation, Landau has learned to temper his reactions, but the last few months have been a roller coaster. Although he knew about the FBI's investigation, few others did, and when White asked him to take part in the DPD's reenactments of the night that launched this battle, he felt insulted. "I've been really put through the ringer by everyone at the state level," Landau says. "That was disrespectful. Why would you even ask me a question like that?"

In the meantime, the Department of Justice is interested only in the facts related to the original incident, not the years of oversight and legal battles that have ensued, Landau says -- or the incidents Murr and Nixon have been involved with since.

As he moves forward and continues his role in the FBI's ongoing investigation, Landau hopes that the discovery of a civil rights violation might prompt a larger investigation of the department. But when asked what his ideal result is, he hesitates: "That would have been three-and-a-half years ago, when they could have taken them off the force and prevented other incidents," he says of the officers involved. "But we can't really go back, can we? At the very least, now there's national recognition that Denver police are beating their citizens. That's a victory, if you look at it like that. It's a day-to-day struggle."

Landau believes that the investigation is the result of community interaction, the kind he has been working with the Colorado Progressive Coalition to promote since January 2009. "The energy in the community, the outrage and the sheer list of brutality cases in the city all bubbled up to create this force," Landau says. "It was only a matter of time before the FBI got involved. I'm willing to hold out as long as it takes."

Read the ACLU of Colorado's letter to the Department of Justice in full:
ACLU Colo Letter to DOJ

More from our Calhoun: Wake-Up Call archive: "Alex Landau refuses to re-enact Denver cop beating."

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seems to me that the only way to get rid of a dirty cop- is to put one between their eyes.. if our gov- or our courts want to give them a free ride-and  make it open season on the public-- then the public should declare open season on dirty cops- and dirty gov.

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