Denver Sheriff's deputy caught on camera flipping inmate's tray of food; deputy suspended

DENVER – A sheriff’s deputy who worked in the Denver Jail has been suspended for 30 days without pay after he got into a disagreement with an inmate and the deputy flipped a food tray on the inmate.

Deputy Darrell Jordan was disciplined last week for harassing prisoners after the incident, which was captured on the jail’s security camera.

The video shows Jordan grab the tray from the bottom and thrust it up toward the inmate, spilling food on the inmate.

A discipline investigation discovered the inmate had initially brought the wrong cup to breakfast that morning and had to go back and get the right cup.

Jordan told the inmate the breakfast line was closed and he could not get coffee.

The inmate used a derogatory cuss word toward Jordan and Jordan responded, “If you think that is $%&#*@ up, you haven’t seen nothing yet,” according to a discipline letter from the City of Denver to Jordan.

Jordan says the inmate then made another remark so Jordan told him to leave.

When the inmate grabbed his tray, which Jordan says he told him not to do, Jordan can be seen flipping the inmate's tray up and food falls on the inmate.

Jordan told internal affairs investigators that slapping the food tray was an appropriate action because it “ended the situation.”

Jordan also told investigators he “absolutely” used de-escalation techniques during the incident, saying he allowed the inmate to vent as one technique, the discipline letter says.

He said when he cussed back at the inmate, he was mirroring the language used by the inmate.

Jordan has been in trouble before. He was suspended for ten days in April of 2014 for inappropriate force.

He's required to attend training to "update his knowledge and practice of de-escalation techniques," according to his discipline letter.

Jordan has the right to appeal his discipline and other deputies have been successful in getting discipline overturned after hearings before the Career Service Authority. 

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