Victims of alleged police brutality rally in protest against reinstatement of Cpl Randy Murr
Protesters want more transparency at DPD
Last Updated: 278 days ago
DENVER - Dozens of protesters rallied in front of the Webb Municipal Building Friday asking the city to reverse the reinstatement of an officer accused of lying in a case involving alleged excessive force.
Among the protesters were Anthony and Denise DeHerrera.
Their son, Michael, was roughed up by Denver Police in 2009 after he and friend were asked to leave a bar in LoDo.
The brutal arrest was captured on a police Halo cam.
It shows Officer Devin Sparks yanking DeHerrera to the ground.
The young man's parents said he was then beaten in the face by one of the officers, and that two of them lied to save their jobs.
The Civil Service hearing panel agreed that Sparks repeatedly lied about his use of force and his descriptions of how DeHerrera attempted to attack him and Cpl. Randy Murr. The surveillance video clearly showed where Sparks' statements and his written reports contradicted what really happened during the arrest, the ruling stated.
The panel upheld Sparks' firing.
Additionally, the panel ruled: "With regard to whether Murr saw DeHerrera attempt to hit Sparks, Murr was actually not directly involved and testified that he lacked sufficient perception of the events," the panel ruled. "In addition, (Murr's) false statement was a singular false statement that he retracted once he saw the HALO video and based it on an improper misperception of the events."
The panel ordered Murr reinstated.
DeHerrera's parents take issue with that decision.
"If your adrenaline (rush) and your perception are that bad, you need not be (an officer) on the streets," said Denise DeHerrera.
The DeHerreras and Alex Landau told 7NEWS that officers who are prone to violence, or to not telling the truth should be drummed out of the department.
Landau said he was assaulted by officers who pulled him over on a traffic stop in 2009.
He said everything was fine until he asked the officers to show him their warrant.
"That resulted in me beig beaten with fists, a police issued mag flashlight and police issued radio," Landau said. "I had a service revolver pressed to my head."
As the protesters marched to City Hall, Landau asked Mayor Michael Hancock and Safety Manager Alex Martinez why it's taking so long to investigate the allegations against the officers he claims assaulted him.
Martinez told him that he was waiting for more information.
Landau countered that it's been four years.
Martinez responded that he has no control over how fast the FBI or Dept. of Justice operate.
He said some of the information he is waiting for is coming from both federal agencies.
Mayor Hancock assured Landau and the DeHerreras that the city will appeal the reinstatement of Cpl. Murr and will ask for a stay on his reinstatement.
Hancock said, "Since I became mayor, we have cut the disciplinary process in half."
Hancock said Police Chief Robert White is working on bold, strategic reforms in the police department that will bring more accountability and transparency to its operations.
The mayor said its just a small percentage of officers who are stepping over the line. He said the other officers want them held accountable.
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