Father of man beaten by Denver Police wants change

A father is still on a quest for justice, five years after his son is beaten by Denver police officers.   The incident was captured by a camera located near the nightclub where the incident occurred.

"Sometimes I watch I watch it and cry and stuff," said Anthony DeHerrera, whose son Michael was injured in the incident.

"He called at 12:17am.  I'll never forget it."

Five years later, after recovering from severe injuries, Michael is working once again.

The officers on duty that night have been fired and are appealing.  Yet they've never been charged criminally and that still bothers this father.

"Ninety percent of your cops are probably good, but it's what you deal with these bad apples, it represents your department."

DeHerrera should know - he is a deputy in Southern Colorado.

He says wholesale changes are still needed at DPD, posting a message on the Governor's Facebook page -- asking him to meet face to face.

Hickenlooper spokeswoman Kathy Green said, "It's inappropriate for the governor to comment on Mr. DeHerrera's post or meet with him or anyone involved in the case. The case lives under the City and County of Denver's jurisdiction."

Herrera's plea comes just weeks after the city reached a record settlement after another beating at the Denver Jail, at the hands of deputies.

"Let's do something, let's make a change, let's change the culture, let's make the city of Denver safe."

Meantime, administrators with the Denver Police Department stress significant reforms have been made since the DeHerrera case.  Commander Matthew Murray sent 7NEWS this statement in response:

"The 2009 incident involving Mr. DeHerrera and two Denver Police Officers was clearly a result of improper procedure and a violation of policy. It was also troubling and inconsistent with the values of the Denver Police Department.  As a result, both officers received the maximum administrative penalty: termination."

"Since 2011, the Denver Police Department has undergone a complete overhaul, especially as it relates to the investigation of misconduct investigations and the timeliness of bringing cases to a conclusion. The DeHerrera case played a substantial role in prompting some of these changes."

"DPD is now completing misconduct allegation investigations 74% quicker and has been commended by Denver's Office of the Independent Monitor for continuing a five year trend of "significantly fewer" use of force complaints."

 

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