Judge wants probe of Denver Police conduct in case alleging witness intimidation

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.

According to the lawsuit, jail staff in the incident are accused of showing "indifference to harm."

Hunter is still healing after the attack left him with a broken nose and burns on his body.

"I'm severely scarred for life," Hunter told 7NEWS. "The main thing with this is keeping a positive outlook on things. I would never want anything like this to happen to another inmate."

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.

"The backbone of our court system is to seek the truth," said Hunters attorney Qusair Mohamedbhai. "And it cannot be tolerated when witnessed are bullied, intimidated and threatened to speak something other than the complete truth.

"If justice is served I think it will be a good thing," said Hunter.

As part of the order, the Denver Police Department has until June 16 to turn over emails, transcripts and other communications to the United States Attorney's Office.

A police spokesman declined to comment, citing the lawsuit.

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