Update below: Doubtless there were many reasons behind a federal jury's decision on Tuesday to stick it to the City of Denver over the 2010 death of Marvin Booker in the downtown jail, handing out a staggering $4.65 million in punitive and compensatory damages to the victim's family. The video record of sheriff's deputies piling on to restrain the homeless preacher -- and administering a carotid "sleeper" hold, shocking him with a taser and kneeing him in the back -- must have shocked a few jurors, too. Other videos that have surfaced in recent months of jail employees punching and abusing inmates and prompting excessive-force investigations probably didn't help the city's case, either.
|A courthouse rally in remembrance of Marvin Booker in March.|
But there's a lesser-known video that may have played a role as well -- the video deposition played for the jury featuring the city's esteemed expert witness, Dr. Steven B. Karch, whose job was to explain away any kind of physiological link between the deputies' actions and Booker's death. It was a bizarre performance, a case of a hired gun inflicting a grievous wound on his own employers.
See also: Denver Sheriff's Deputies Rally to Counter Negative PR Over Excessive Force IncidentsMore »