Inmate charged with assaulting Denver deputy; video shows assault

Posted at 2:54 PM, Mar 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-30 21:51:24-04

DENVER — Video released Wednesday depicts a room full of inmates watching a deputy being assaulted in Denver's detention center. 

The alleged assaulter is identified as Rafael Cordero, who is accused of second-degree assault over the attack. 

An account of the attack went into detail about the March 21 choking, explaining Cordero "should have known that Deputy Sheriff James Thompson was such a person engaged in the performance of his duties while employed by or under contract with the detention facility." 

A further account explains Cordero approached Thompson while he sat at his desk, then choked and struck the deputy. 

Thompson was eventually able to break free and place the inmate in handcuffs. He did so while dozens of other inmates watched, but didn't intervene. 

Thompson reported pain in his face and knees from the assault. 

In recent years, attacks by inmates against staff members have grown. A chart provided by the jail showed several months — four in 2016 — where data wasn't available. 

However, the data showed 98 attacks by inmates against staff members in the first eight months of 2016. That's compared to 112 attacks in all of 2015 and only 61 attacks in all of 2014. 

The last year where zero assaults were reported in at least one month of the year was in 2013. 

Denver7 will embed video obtained by the Colorado Independent below. 


Sign up for Denver7 email alerts to stay informed about breaking news and daily headlines.

Or, keep up-to-date by following Denver7 on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.