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Denver police officer suspended 38 days for hitting pedestrian with patrol car

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Posted at 5:01 PM, Aug 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-12 19:01:57-04

DENVER — A Denver police officer who struck a pedestrian with her patrol car last year has been suspended 38 days, the Department of Public Safety said this week.

The incident happened Sept. 17 at Mariposa Street and Colfax Avenue, according to a police disciplinary letter. Officer Jamie Taft was turning left on a green light onto Mariposa when she struck the pedestrian.

Video from Taft's body camera showed her "performing some sort of data entry on her mobile phone as she executed her left turn," the disciplinary letter said. Taft said a bicycle in her back seat had shifted during the turn, distracting her.

After striking the pedestrian, Taft stopped her patrol car immediately and tended to the man, who told the officer, "You're the last person I would expect to get hit by," the disciplinary letter said.

The man suffered several spinal fractures as a result of the crash.

Taft was charged with careless driving, careless driving resulting in injury and infliction of serious bodily injury to a vulnerable road user. In January, she pleaded guilty to careless driving and the other charges were dismissed.