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Deputy Thomas Ford: No Charge After Slugging Inmate Who Said "I'll F*ck You Up"

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A screen capture of Deputy Thomas Ford laying out inmate Kyle Askins; Ford's seen at the upper right. The video and more below.
Last week, we noted that the Denver Department of Public Safety's release of draft reforms for the Denver Sheriff's Department followed weeks of negative PR for the embattled agency, including outrage over a video showing Deputy Thomas Ford punching out an apparently nonviolent inmate.

Now, the Denver District Attorney's Office has announced that it will not file charges against Ford due to extenuating circumstances not revealed by the sound-free video -- namely profane and racist verbal attacks by the inmate, Kyle Askins, whose choice to stand up when approached is characterized as offering a rationale for Ford to get physical

See also: Denver Sheriff Department Draft Reforms Release Tries to Stem Tide of Negative PR

Here's the video of Ford laying out Askins, recorded on July 13 and originally shared by the Colorado Independent:

In a decision letter addressed to interim Denver sheriff Elias Diggins, Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrisseey acknowledges that "the video is subject to different interpretations." However, he argues that spoken communication not captured by the clip provide more context for Ford's actions and suggest that a jury would not convict him of a crime.

According to the document, Askins aimed an assortment of "taunts" at the deputy sheriffs in the processing area seen above, with the majority of them directed at Ford. The ones Ford recalled included: "Fuck you. You pussy. You porch monkey. You black bastard. I'll fuck you up. I'll kick your ass."

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Interim Denver sheriff Elias Diggins.
Another deputy remembered several others delivered over what's described as "a lengthy period of time." Among the examples cited are "You fucking niggers. Why is this taking so long? Fuck you. Fuck you. You're just a pussy. Bitch, I will kick your ass." And a registered nurse told investigators about "horrible" statements that made him cringe -- "things about 'fucking your daughter' or 'raping your daughter,' or something like that."

In the letter, Ford maintains that he repeatedly told Askins to "Knock it off" and warned him that if he didn't, he'd be taken back to a cell. When the inmate failed to quiet down, the deputy says he walked toward him with the intention of making good on his promise.

At that point, the document states that "Askins stood up to confront Deputy Ford" -- something that Ford said "surprised him" and made him feel that the inmate was ready to make good on his assorted threats by starting a fight.

Ford's account reads like so:

So I went over there. I approached him. My sole intention was to place him in a cell. I still had the water bottle in my hand. I still had the print pads in my hand. I had no intention of getting into a physical altercation with this guy. So, but when he -- he popped up off the bench. I didn't tell him to get up. I didn't give him an order. He popped up off the bench in an aggressive manner. His body was tense, and his face, and then, based off of his previous threats about what he was going to do to me, I felt threatened and I defended myself, and I defended myself with a -- with a strike to the face...a strike that we are taught in the Academy to defend ourselves against threats.
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Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey.
Askins's injuries were minor: an injured lip, plus a shoulder abrasion and chest bruise that may have been caused by a fall on the 16th Street Mall before he was taken into custody.

In Morrissey's view, the lack of serious wounds combined with supporting testimony from witnesses and a video that "largely corroborates Deputy Ford's description of events" suggests that "a jury would find that Deputy Ford's use of force was legally justified by Colorado statutes at the moment he struck Askins in the face." As such, he continues, "we could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the force was not justified, as the law requires, if we were to file criminal charges."

Click here to see the complete decision letter and look below to see a booking photo of Askins.

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Kyle Askins.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.


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86 comments
conanmiddleton
conanmiddleton

Why are we not rioting about this attack against whites? Maybe because we are decent HUMANS, not lower beings.

stevemcmahon40
stevemcmahon40

now if whites acted like blacks they'd burn down the police station, half the city, throw molotov cocktails at the cops home and probably a lot more. 

stevemcmahon40
stevemcmahon40

This guy should be fired and lose his pension and be brought up on charges of assault. this is ridiculous. and that white guy should get an attorney and sue for a few million dollars. I hope to hell that every single cop there that night loses their job over that. 

spikeoh555
spikeoh555

"However, he argues that spoken communication not captured by the clip provide more context for Ford's actions and suggest that a jury would not convict him of a crime."

So mere words are justification for violence.

Did the whites of this town riot in protest against more of this barbaric black violence?

Brandon Moana
Brandon Moana

Wow, so what you are telling me is to go become a cop and I can freely punch people who annoy me. Awesome where do I sign up for punching freely, eating donuts, killing innocent dogs and asking ladies for sexton in exchange to avoid tickets.????? NOT... hold these idiots accountable!!!!!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Wouldn't it be funny if this inmate raped the violent cop's daughter in retaliation for getting assaulted, just to show the cop that violence is the answer to violence ?



Joe Maldonado
Joe Maldonado

Yet another great example of abused power and proof that cops are above the law they've sworn to uphold

Kandi Kandi
Kandi Kandi

Had this been the other way around would the inmate not be charged with assualt? The inmate didnt raise his hands to the officer, he ran his mouth. Be a bigger person, as you have a responsibility to uphold the law, not a bully. This is bs. The officer should be charged

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

So the DA -- Bitch Morrissey -- is sending a clear message that whenever someone says "I'll fuck you up", it's acceptable and LEGAL for the other person to violently sucker-punch them in the face, knocking them unconscious.


Noted.

whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

He should have given him a couple more.


Anthony Alcatraz Ruvalcaba
Anthony Alcatraz Ruvalcaba

DPD will always be a bunch of dickheads! It doesn't surprise me that another person gets beat up or killed in their hands, bunch of assholes....

Roberta Richardson
Roberta Richardson

So it's ok to assault someone who says something you don't like? It's ok to hit first because someone verbally threatens you, someone that you already have "under control"?

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

Strongly put, Kandi. Thanks for posting.

whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

You are right, he should be charged...charged nothing for the free lunch I'd buy him for doing the right thing.

whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay Not really. You can't threaten a police officer while in custody and then physically act towards the officer.  

That bigoted piece of trash threatened him physically and threatened to rape his daughter.  He's lucky he only got one pop to his noggin that houses a brain with a lower than average IQ.  

whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

He stood up when he wasn't ordered to.  After threatening the officer with physical violence that is a green light for the officer to subdue the inmate.

Should have given him a couple more.  Threatening to rape his daughter is a step too far.
Good cop and a bad criminal.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@whateveryousay


Physical Violence is not a lawful response to verbal threats ...


... at least not in civilized societies.



muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

@whateveryousay Yeah, because some idiots feel assault by the police is OK.  Usually they are frightened and hate the Constitution.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@whateveryousay ... because in your frightened little world, actual violence is the answer to verbal "threats", eh punk?

Charlie
Charlie

@whateveryousay @DonkeyHotay Then charge him with criminal threats and continue booking him.  Part of what is expected of police officers and corrections officials is the ability not to sink to the level of the people they are dealing with.  As it stands, it's a civil rights violation, whether or not it's prosecuted

GuestWho
GuestWho topcommenter

@whateveryousay  So you think the officer responded appropriately?  You'd support a protocol that allowed law enforcement to punch, choke, or use whatever force necessary (bullets?) to ensure immediate compliance?  So tell us, which law enforcement agency do you work for?


If this situation did not involve an officer...say a mental healthcare worker hit a patient they would have be charged with assault and fired.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@whateveryousay "He stood up when he wasn't ordered to."


It's jail, not the military you stump-stupid stammering sycophant.

whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @whateveryousay The witnesses support the officer.  The dude threatened him and then was physically aggressive towards him.  I wonder if the dude will have to register?


whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

@muhutdafuga @whateveryousay @DonkeyHotay I don't believe you are in favor of the rule of law.  You are convicting this police officer even though it was investigated and they found there was not enough evidence to show a crime.  You are convicting him even though there was not a court case.  You are basing your opinion of his guilt on watching a 20 second video that doesn't even have audio.  You are convicting him without trial and that is entirely against the Constitution.


whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

@Charlie @whateveryousay @DonkeyHotay Not so. As stated by those investigating the dude was physically aggressive to the officer after threatening to kick his a$$.

Quit glossing over the threat of physical violence and then the physical aggression towards the officer.

whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

@GuestWho Eh, I support a dude punching another dude in the face when that dude is threatening to rape his daughter.  Call me old fashioned that way.  

So, your hyperbole is misplaced. 


whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @whateveryousay Is this one of your registered buddies?  

The dude threatened to physically harm the officer and rape his daughter, I know you may not think that is a big deal.  The officer approached him after being threatened with physical harm and the dude stood up.  Understandably the officer felt threatened and did what was appropriate.  


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@whateveryousay ... so if another inmate had knocked the guy out for the same reason, it would have been acceptable and legal in your perverted violent world view?

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

@whateveryousay @muhutdafuga @DonkeyHotayI want ALL to be EQUALLY accountable under the law, including the wealthy and the powerful, including law enforcement.

These are the facts despite your belief and feelings.

II don't need video, it doesn't matter what was said.  I'm talking about an assault, not naughty talk.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@whateveryousay ... and how does punching him out stop him from "raping his daughter" if that was he true intention?


Be specific.

whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @whateveryousay That's exactly what sex-offenders do!  You are finally getting it.  

SORs are Constitutional! GOD BLESS AMERICA!

Funny how you never objected to the deservedly-punched-in-the-face inmates threat of raping his daughter....

whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @whateveryousay Inmates are not given the authority to subdue other inmates.  Police officers are given authority to subdue inmates.  

Not even remotely similar.  You are reaching.

whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

@muhutdafuga @whateveryousay @DonkeyHotay you say assault by the officer and will not acknowledge the aggression from the inmate.  Again, all of the witnesses support the officer and none of them support the inmate who was threatening the officer.

whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

@muhutdafuga That is your opinion. Luckily for society your opinion on this matter does not count.

whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @whateveryousay Alright there keyboard commando.  Now grow a pair and say that to a cop.  Please.  

The dude didn't say that he hoped someone would. He stated that he was going to rape his daughter.

You don't even have a pair as large as the brainiac that was in custody that popped.  

So, without the direct threat that pretty much leaves you looking like you probably are in person.  A coward.

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

@whateveryousay @muhutdafuga Yeah, otherwise bad cops couldn't assault a helpless victim.  Remind me why following the Constitution as I describe is a bad thing....

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@whateveryousay ... so how does cold-cocking the mouthy inmate prevent him from raping his daughter, if that was any sort of actual threat?


Be specific.

whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

@muhutdafuga @whateveryousay @DonkeyHotay No, but you are reaching.  Nice to see you assume they are all lying without seeing any evidence of this situation other than a short video clip.  

The bigoted, child-rape-threatening, puffy chested inmate caught one to the face after getting aggressive with the officer.  Sounds like a good job to me!

whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @whateveryousay Quit glossing over the physical threat of violence towards the officer and then the guy getting physically aggressive with the officer.

Sorry that it doesn't fit your narrative of what you think may have happened. 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@whateveryousay ... why do you lie so much?


The prisoner exerted no PHYSICAL violence upon the officer, merely the typical verbal bullshit the fills every jail / prison every day around the world.


How was the officer's ACTUAL PHYSICAL VIOLENCE upon the prisoner an acceptable action in a civilized society?


athowell1
athowell1

@whateveryousay Police officers are also trained to use less violent means of subduing prisoners such as stun guns. Jiu Jitsu would even be more appropriate. Striking should be a secondary method of control.

athowell1
athowell1

@whateveryousay Standing up is not 'getting physically aggressive.' How far can you stretch your logical justification for assaulting the prisoner? I suppose you would support the killing of that inmate as well. If the roles in this situation were reversed I hardly doubt that you would justify it. That's fuzzy logic.

whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @whateveryousay When I view the short video I see the prisoner threaten the officer.  Difference of opinion.  I do wish there was audio.  It looks like the prisoner said something to him as he was walking towards him.  I wonder if it was a physical threat.  If he made a physical threat and stood up as the officer was approaching him then it is completely justified. 

The officer walked towards him with a notepad in his hand and a water bottle.  Even the registered nurse who doesn't have any skin in the game supported the officer's version of the event.

Standing up to confront the officer is aggression.  

whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

@athowell1 @whateveryousay Looks like the dude stood up to confront him to me.  Looks like he stood up to confront the officer and said something like "Fuck you. Fuck you. You're just a pussy. Bitch, I will kick your ass" to me.  

Eh, one for the good guys. 

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