Federal judge asks for investigation into Denver police officers' conduct

DENVER - A federal judge has asked the U.S. Attorney's Office to investigate whether Denver police officers broke the law when they spoke with a key witness in a federal civil rights lawsuit.

Judge John Kane also wants an investigation into patterns and practices of the police and sheriff's departments. Court documents released Tuesday confirmed his request, first made during a Friday hearing in a lawsuit filed by Jamal Hunter.

Hunter says a sheriff's deputy failed to protect him during a July 2011 beating by fellow jail inmates and also encouraged the attack.

Hunter's attorneys say Denver police officers told a witness in March that he could face criminal prosecution if he testifies. Kane said he believed the officers did intimidate the witness.

A police spokesman declined to comment, citing the lawsuit.

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