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Denver Diner: Attorney, witness of brutality incident decry accused cops' back-to-work order

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Big photos below.
Update: Last week, we noted that Denver police officers Ricky Nixon and Kevin Devine had been given the go-ahead by the Denver Civil Service Commission to hit the streets again despite having been fired last year for their actions in the 2009 billy-clubbing and macing incident at the Denver Diner. However, a lawsuit over the men's Diner actions is still pending. Look below for a comment from the attorney in that case, plus the other takes from excessive-force critics, followed by our original coverage.

As is detailed in the lawsuit, also included here, Kelly Boren, Sharelle Thomas, Ana Ortega and Kristal Carrillo were at the restaurant in 2009 when they say Nixon and Devine menaced them with nightsticks, pulled or shoved a number of them to the ground and sprayed them with mace despite no compelling evidence of actual wrongdoing. This contention is illustrated later in this post by a series of photos showing Nixon and Devine in action.

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Siddhartha Rahod.
Siddhartha Rathod, the lawyer representing the women in the filing, stresses that the suit remains active. Right now, he says, the plaintiffs are awaiting rulings on motions by the City of Denver, and while no trial date has been set, he's hopeful that one will be established in the not-too-distant future.

In the meantime, Rathod provided the following statement:

The four women who were assaulted and brutalized by Denver Police officers Ricky Nixon and Kevin Devin in front of the Denver Diner are disappointed, but not surprised, by the latest decision by the Civil Service Commission to serve and protect their own. The Denver Police department has a long standing culture of failing to discipline officers who engage in rampant constitutional violations, sending clear messages to the entire department that police brutality and dishonesty are tolerated.
Also weighing in is Mu Son Chi, racial justice and civil-rights director for the Colorado Progressive Coalition, an organization that has teamed up with Alex Landau a student who was beaten bloody in a separate matter involving Officer Nixon. The City of Denver subsequently paid Landau a $795,000 settlement, even though the case against Nixon has yet to be resolved; it's currently the subject of a federal inquiry.

"The city of Denver has yet again shown its inability to remove dangerous and lying officers from the streets," Chi said in a statement. In his view, the "decision is yet another example of the city's lack of institutional control over its law enforcement agency. More than ever, we need outside intervention by the federal government. We are again calling on the United States Department of Justice to launch a patterns and practices of abuse investigation into Denver law enforcement.

"Additionally, we are calling on the Mayor to meet with us to talk about these issues," he added. "Many people in the community do not know that the mayor is refusing to meet with police accountability groups."

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Miriam Peña.
Similarly frustrated is Miriam Peña, a CPC staffer who was at the Diner when the 2009 incident took place; learn more in her March interview with Westword.

"We know that many officers do their jobs with honesty and integrity. However, it is imperative that we remove violent officers from the streets," she said in a statement of her own. "We are calling on officers to step forward and speak out with their concerns about Denver law enforcement. Our 'Blue Line' offers a confidential way for officers to share concerns that exist within Denver law enforcement. We are asking officers who have been unable to address their concerns, because of fear of retribution or inadequate responses, to cross the blue line of silence and to begin working with us to begin making our community a safer place."

Continue to read our previous coverage, which features photos of the Denver Diner incident and the lawsuit against officers Nixon and Devine.



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21 comments
Rodger
Rodger

I watched the tape.  I wonder how the two cops felt being surrounded by a drunk mob?  I really didn't see any excessive force. 

 

Advice:  when the cops are there, be on your good behaivior, and don't interfere.   Don't act drunk and stupid and you won't have any problems.

carlraymiller
carlraymiller

well they need to be carful cuss you know one day they will come across a inocent person do that and there reltive could be one of the wakos who decide to take out an entire department you know when they push people to fair it can happen I hope not becouse the good cops would get hurt but its always possable if there are so many currpt cops there doing that stuff

Bob_Smith
Bob_Smith

Hell, if they'd agree to can the CSC and all the Hearing Officers I might vote to give them their $68 million more a year. 

Matt Planteen
Matt Planteen

The problem is that the definition of 'excessive' has become a floating, entirely arbitrary one due to very poor judicial precedent. Furthermore, there remains little to no oversight of law enforcement with which to effectively combat this behavior. Here in Wyoming, a young man was shot and very nearly killed a few months ago. The officers were 'cleared' by DCI and allowed by their department to return to duty with no transparency, apparently before the full investigation had even been completed, and before any records of any kind were turned over to the county attorney's office (to my knowledge this STILL hasn't happened). All claims of excessive force should be investigated by a dedicated third-party oversight agency and automatically go to a civilian Grand Jury. Those found guilty should be punished at maximum sentencing levels.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

DPD has many criminals out on the street and administering the Department; Nixon and Devine are just two more.

Mel Dee
Mel Dee

I couldn't agree with you more Josh.

Jim Creekmore
Jim Creekmore

This happens everywhere. It's as if society is becoming numb to it.

Josh Bradley
Josh Bradley

Good question Mel. It would be great if such a question was posed directly to the powers that be and a real answer required before leaving them alone. One officer already cost the tax payers about $800,000...I am positive his position could be effectively filled with a new officer.

Mel Dee
Mel Dee

What is considered "excessive use of force" to the Denver police department then if this isn't? It seems to me that they don't even know what excessive use of force means, that, or they just simply don't care. This is beyond ridiculous and I cannot believe there is even an ounce of consideration putting them back out on the streets. If they engaged in this type of "control" or "policing" before, they are going to do it over and over and over again. Especially when they have other "justice" professionals backing up their behavior and claiming it to be "by the book," Unbelievable.

Matt Planteen
Matt Planteen

So law enforcement investigated itself and found itself innocent? I'm shocked.

stevebeast
stevebeast

thats the denver police for you, they get up early to beat the crowds. if you go into the city limits you take your life in your own hands.There is nothing in the denver city limits that you cant get in the suburbs and its soooo not worth it,

 

IZen
IZen

First item on the agenda for city council should be to gut the Civil Service Commission's authority.  They have proven time and again that they are unable to rule impartially.

Scarifying
Scarifying

Denver cops reinstated with full back pay and benefits after beshitting their badge and lying with every breath that they could muster about an unwarranted beating administered to unarmed women? Must be Friday.

ctewell1
ctewell1

 @stevebeast how bout live music steve, I havent been to a show in highlands ranch in forever dammit! 

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

 @stevebeast Interesting post, Steve -- one we're going to make an upcoming Comment of the Day. Much appreciated.

stevebeast
stevebeast

 @ctewell1

 Red Rocks in Jefferson county is one of the best venues in the world.

Spliffy
Spliffy

Actually, the City of Denver owns Red Rocks (even though it's in Jefferson County)  and staffs DPD as "security" at all the shows. Like the Jethro Tull show in the 70's where they tear gassed the whole crowd.

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