Man Gets $40,000 In Denver Police Brutality Suit

City Council Agrees To Settle Lawsuit

A man who claims he was severely beaten by Denver police officers in a case of mistaken identity will get a $40,000 settlement from the city of Denver.

Eric Winfield mounted a lawsuit against the city of Denver after a 2007 incident that left him with two black eyes, a broken nose, chipped teeth and permanent nerve damage.

Winfield said he was walking in lower downtown on Oct. 27, 2007, when a bouncer mistook him for another man who had started a bar fight and pointed Winfield out to police.

Winfield said three officers quickly surrounded him.

“Next thing you know I saw fists coming at my face,” said Winfield. “Repeated blows to the face, the chest. One guy was kneeing me in the crotch while I was down.”

In depositions, the officers, Antonio Milow, Thomas Johnston and Glen Martin, claimed that Winfield was the one who was aggressive.

“He immediately took a fighting stance,” said Milow in a statement of probable cause. “The defendant began to swing his arms in a violent manner attempting to strike me.”

Milow also claimed that Winfield kicked him in the groin.

Both Johnston and Martin backed Milow up, saying in separate statements that Winfield was “verball (sic) aggressive” and “very combative” toward police.

“I’ve never been in a fight,” said Winfield. “I certainly wouldn't all of a sudden start swinging wildly at three cops, especially one that was 300 pounds.”

An internal investigation by Denver police cleared the officers, but Winfield was also cleared. Felony charges of assault on an officer were dropped. Denver police declined to comment on Winfield’s case or to cite why the charges against him were dropped.

In addition to filing a lawsuit, Winfield’s family developed a Facebook page called Justice For Eric Winfield featuring pictures of Winfield after the incident.

Winfield originally sought more than $1 million in damages, but said he agreed to settle to put the matter behind him.

“I’m not looking to get rich quick,” he said. “I just want accountability.”

Winfield said he would maintain the Facebook page and intends to act as a resource for anyone else in his situation.

In addition to the settlement, the city of Denver will be obligated to pay Winfield's legal fees.