DENVER – The city will pay a former jail inmate and his attorney $65,000 to settle a lawsuit after the former inmate was punched by a Denver sheriff’s deputy.
Deputy Thomas Ford was fired in September 2014 for punching inmate Kyle Askin in the face at the Downtown Detention Center, but the Career Service Authority Board overturned the decision and Askin got his job back last December.
The original video leaked to Denver media; it showed Askin sitting in the booking area and antagonizing Ford, who went over and punched Askin in the face, knocking him over.
Ford had said Askin was drunk and using “racially offensive language” before he punched him.
Askin’s attorney, Siddhartha Rathod, confirmed to Denver7 that the Denver City Council approved the settlement Monday.
“Denver came to the table and resolved this case early on,” Rathod said. “It’s just a sign that there’s an ongoing problem.”
Askin will receive $36,908 and Rathod’s law firm, Rathod-Mohamedbhai, will get $28,091.20 of the money.
“If you or I did what Officer Ford did, not only would we be fired from our job, but we would be in jail,” Rathod said. “Here, Officer Ford, in essence, got a paid vacation.”
The civil suit brought to light other excessive force reports within the sheriff’s office and has led to a revised use-of-force policy, among other reforms.
Rathod says the settlement shows Denver is still incapable of effectively disciplining its deputies.
“The citizens of Denver are going to have to pay until Denver is willing to get rid of its bad apples,” he said.