The FBI has launched a criminal investigation into the Denver police beating of a 19-year-old black college student in 2009.Alex Landau said three officers stopped his car on the night of Jan. 15, 2009, for making an illegal turn.Landau, who was then a student at Community College of Denver, said when he asked police if they had a warrant to search his trunk, the officers called him the N-word and beat his face and head with their fists, a radio and a flashlight until he was unconscious, according to a federal lawsuit Landau filed against Denver Police Department."Wheres that warrant now, you (expletive) (N-word)?" a male officer said, according to the lawsuit.Landau was treated at the hospital for a broken nose, brain bleeding, a concussion, a hemorrhage in his right eye and head lacerations that required several dozen stitches, the lawsuit said.
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The Denver city council unanimously agreed to paid Landau $795,000 to settle the lawsuit in May 2011. It was the city's fourth largest payout in a police brutality case.
Manager of Safety Alex J. Martinez and Chief of Police Robert C. White on Monday issued a joint statement disclosing the FBI criminal investigation of the three officers involved in the Landau beating.Martinez and White said they had completed an internal affair investigation on the the Landau case.But the city's top law enforcement officials said they have decided not to make a final decision on their investigation until the U.S. Department of Justice probe is completed."We have been informed by the FBI of an investigation to determine if any civil rights violations occurred," the joint statement said. "It is our understanding this Department of Justice investigation is not a pattern and practices civil investigation into the Denver Police Department, rather, it is a criminal investigation into the actions of the individual officers involved in the Landau case," the joint statement said."Because we will continue to be careful to reach the right resolution, we will not proceed without the opportunity to consider any additional information resulting from the DOJ investigation. Accordingly, we will wait until the DOJs investigation is complete to make a final decision," the statement by Martinez and White concluded.