Family Of Preacher Who Died In Denver Jail Wants Answers

DENVER (CBS4)- The family of Marvin Booker plans on suing the city of Denver. Booker, 56, was a street preacher when he died in the summer of 2010 while being subdued by deputies at the new jail in Denver.

The lawsuit will be filed in Denver District Court. It claims the city’s five individual sheriff’s deputies were involved in a conspiracy to use excessive force on Booker. The suit also claims his death was a foreseeable product of a culture of brutality.

Booker was retrieving his shoes when he was subdued by five deputies. It happened in the booking area after he disobeyed an order to go to a cell.

“There’s a major question mark in the community of how the city handled this. The citizens are still concerned that we have still not seen the video tape,” said Booker family friend Rev. Timothy Tyler.

Booker was placed in a headlock, sat on by deputies and shocked with a taser. The family has called for the video to be released.

“What is there to hide? That the family of all these officials and investigative units can see it, certainly the family ought to be able to see it as well,” said Marvin’s brother Rev. Spencer Booker.

Rev. Spencer Booker will be there when a lawsuit is filed in his brother’s death. Marvin’s death was ruled a homicide by the coroner, but no criminal charges were filed by the district attorney.

“The real causation issue is there are so many factors that lead to Mr. Booker’s death that we believe that we could not prove that causation issue beyond a reasonable doubt,” said Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey.

The Booker lawsuit will cite other incidents of alleged excessive force claiming there is a culture of brutality.

“I believe that Marvin Booker’s case is part of a long string of officers gone bad and the city has to speak to that,” said Tyler.

City officials said the video would not be released until the investigation is complete.

Booker’s family was offered an opportunity to view the video of the incident, but without their attorney. They rejected that offer.

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