Denver Police interview with alleged brutality victim raises concerns about Internal Affairs Bureau

Sgt. warns man he could be charged for lying

DENVER - After Denver's independent monitor raised concerns about the internal affairs practices at the Denver Police Department,  7NEWS reviewed a 36-minute interview conducted by a police sergeant with a man accusing officers of brutality.

Alexander Landau was awarded a nearly $800,000 settlement by the city after he accused officers of brutally beating him during a 2009 traffic stop. 

Last Friday, an internal review by Denver Manager of Safety Alex Martinez cleared the officers involved in the incident.

On Jan. 16, 2009, one day after Alex Landau was severely injured during a confrontation with Denver Police, he filed a complaint about his treatment and  asked internal affairs to investigate.

As part of the process, he agreed to be interviewed by a police sergeant.

Landau said he felt police were "biased" from the start.

"Just so you know, right off the bat, if it turns out there are many mistruths, so to say any lies, then you could turn around and be charged, with making a false report," said the sergeant told Landau.

7News obtained as series of guidelines used by police across the country to conduct internal affairs investigations.

It states police should not discourage citizens or threaten the public about filing a false complaint.

"That's going to have a chilling effect.  And people, if they think that's how they're going to be treated when they make a report, they're not going to come in and make that report,” said former Judge Jim Miller, who serves as a legal analyst for 7NEWS.

Comments about race also raised concerns by the Office of the Independent Monitor, which is tasked with providing objective oversight of the Denver Police and Sheriff's Departments.

"The people doing the (police Internal Affairs Bureau) intake should really approach the situation almost like I do during in a mediation. You listen empathetically. And you're not there to judge. You can think your stuff out later on. Initially, you just want to hear what the person wants to report,” said Miller.

Denver police say they’ve made significant changes in the staffing and structure of internal affairs during the last four years.

Print this article Back to Top