Denver Council Approves Police Brutality Payouts

City Council Members Call For Change

The Denver City Council approved two more excessive force settlements in its meeting Monday night, bringing the total payout for police brutality cases this year to more than $1 million.

In the settlement approved, officers are accused of using excessive force against Mark Ashford, an incident that was caught on camera, by police HALO cameras.

Ashford appeared to be walking his dogs and trying to take a picture of officers with his cell phone camera, when the confrontation began.

The settlement approved would give him $35,000.

"Everybody saw this poor man with two little dogs being attacked by the police, and I think that's a bad signal for the city. It looks bad," said Doug Linkhart, a Denver City Councilman.

Especially, he said, in light of other recent excessive force allegations, including the other police brutality settlement approved Monday night.

In that case, a Denver Police officer was accused of beating a volunteer firefighter outside a Lodo pizza place.

The controversy from that incident played a role in Public Safety Manager Ron Perea's resignation, and the city council agreed to pay out $45,000 in that case.

"I'm hopeful we can turn this trend around, because it's time," said Judy Montero, a Denver City Councilwoman.

Linkhart said the interim mayor had been trying to get the excessive force settlements finished before the new mayor comes in and cleans house at the police department.

Mayor-Elect Michael Hancock has pledged to fire the police chief and make rebuilding trust in DPD one of his top priorities.

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