A Denver Sheriff Department deputy will lose four days of pay for using a chokehold on a jail inmate, who was not injured.
Denver Department of Public Safety administrators determined that Deputy Shawn Rhatigan used inappropriate force when he crossed his arm over an inmate’s neck while transporting him to a cell. The department bans the use of chokeholds except as a method of deadly force.
“Deputy Rhatigan used inappropriate force on an inmate when he caused pressure to be applied to the inmate’s throat when it was neither reasonable nor necessary,” Deputy Director of Public Safety Mary Dulacki wrote in a disciplinary letter obtained by The Denver Post through a records request.
Rhatigan denied using the chokehold and said his arm was never on the person’s neck during internal affairs meetings with high-ranking leaders of the sheriff’s department, the letter shows. He said he moved his arm if it accidentally slipped to the man’s neck because “there are too many issues with that nowadays,” the letter states.
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