Denver Police Union Calls ‘Emergency Meeting’ Over Discipline

Written by Brian Maass
DENVER (CBS4)- CBS4 has learned that the Denver Police Protective Association, the union representing most Denver Police Officers, has scheduled an emergency meeting for Monday to discuss recent disciplinary moves, including the recommended firing of Officer Devin Sparks, who was caught on videotape manhandling Michael DeHerrera.

The meeting is set for noon Monday, according to a flyer distributed to officers by the PPA today. It calls for as many PPA members as possible to show up.

“Our members want us to do something,” said Nick Rogers, a PPA board member, when contacted Wednesday by CBS4 about the Monday event.

Rogers said the proposed firing of Sparks would be addressed, but he was hazy about other topics.

Asked if PPA members were considering a no confidence vote on Police Chief Gerry Whitman, Rogers said he did not know if that would be on the agenda. Several Denver Officers told CBS4 that a no confidence vote was being discussed internally among Denver police.

CBS4 broke the story earlier this week that Whitman’s recommended the termination of Officer Sparks for his actions in the Lodo incident.

In a controversial video captured by a city HALO camera, Sparks is seen throwing Michael DeHerrera to the ground while the man talked on a cell phone.

michael deherrera Denver Police Union Calls Emergency Meeting Over Discipline

Michael DeHerrera (credit: Denver Police Department)

The department initially recommended that Sparks be suspended for three days. But after the videotape was released and a public outcry followed, the case was reopened and Whitman recommended termination. A Deputy Chief initially recommended the three day suspension.

Denver’s Manager of Safety will make the ultimate decision on Sparks’ fate. That determination is due within 15 days.

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  • Martin

    So the police union wants to protect the criminals whom are roaming with pure lawlessness, and threaten public safety by attempting to through muscle around with a union. This shows how much this union cares for what a police officer means. To protect and serve only the police’s interest. Assaulting and murdering those in their custody with no one to answer to.

  • Natalie

    It’s bad enough that the police can bully and terrorize people that way, but now their union wants to bully the police chief, too. The police force is no place for big bullies and they should GO!

  • s

    Manhandled? MANHANDLED???? DeHerrera was majorly beaten up! The union is a joke, unfortunately with influence. Why, on God’s green earth, would they defend the actions of “protect and serve” officer Sparks? And a possible ‘no confidence’ vote for the chief? You’ve got to be kidding! Fire the cretin and then I hope his butt is sued up the wazoo for assult!! Sparks – YOU ARE A MENACE/LOSER/CRIMINAL, etc., etc.

  • s

    If I wasn’t clear, I mean fire Sparks, not the police chief.

  • OldDog

    You people are clueless. This isn’t about Sparks or beatings or any of that. It’s about a city administration that didn’t get the result they wanted the first time they investigated Sparks – so they re-investigated, fired a Manager of Safety, and re-investigated again until they got the chief and the rest to knuckle under and fire him.
    How many of you would stand for that in YOUR life?? How many times would you like to go back to court after you’re found “not guilty” because the DA wants to convict you??
    If Sparks should have been fired, they should have done it right the first time. I don’t care if you love the cops or hate them, NO ONE in the USA should be treated like this.

    • s

      Well ‘OldDog’ I’m totally fine with the re-investigation and the firing of the safety manager – who was, in your words, clueless. This is absolutely about a beating. You are the clueless one – Sparks didn’t go to court, he wasn’t charged with anything! Yes, they should have done it right the first time, but hopefully they WILL get it right the second time around. What is your problem with this???????????

      • Brett

        Agreed, ‘s’. Justice is justice. The man in the video deserves his justice, and Sparks should have been fired the first time. I don’t think OldDog did his homework in the matter at hand before he spoke out of turn on the subject, but that kind of ignorance as to what is going on is to be expected in a post F*x news world. In any case: Late justice, is better than no justice. Though I don’t think Police Unions should be abolished as they provide important protections for officers, I DO think they have over stepped their place in this case and could face a penalty from the city, when it comes to certain bargaining rights, because of their willingness to separate themselves from the people they are supposed to protect and serve.

  • Laura

    I’d like to lodge a “no confidence” vote against the entire DPD. They’re nationally known to be over-reacting, abusive jerks eager to assert their authority over citizens. I got pulled over years ago in Amarillo, TX, and that officer knew of DPD officer’s propensity to be trigger happy. Where can I cast my ballot for a no-confidence vote against the DPD???

  • DH

    I hope this doesn’t mean that most cops are against firing this cop because they feel that they, too, are capable of and likely to beat the s**t out of some hapless citizen in the future.

  • Denverite

    The whole lot of them should be fired. They are in a position of public trust, and if they’re actually organizing for their “right” to brutalize citizens they should all be let go.

  • JT

    Do I hear the little piggies going “WEE-WEE-WEE (LOVE BEATING YOU)” all the way home? I think I do!

  • Draper

    Politics as usual, first we legalize marijuana and now let the liberal pot heads run the place – that makes a lot of sense. Can’t wait to see what’s next once they have all the cops afraid to get out of their cars to assist anyone!!

  • Alyar

    Good question for the next mayor. If change is needed, will he/she commit to a nationwide search for someone from the outside? The PPA doesn’t like Whitman because he recommended firing? Didn’t this same union threaten a slowdown if Hickenlooper kept Whitman? Hick did the right thing by keeping him. Who will the PPA support for the Chief’s job? I hear that one of the current staff, Chief Keesee is actively soliciting for the job. No doubt the union will support her. Why would that be?

    • Will

      Alyar – I have friends at the DPD who tell me Keesee has been part of Whitman’s crew since he’s been the Chief – the only difference is that her husband’s got buddies on the PPA board and she lays low to avoid getting involved in anything controversial that might muck up her chances at the top job. I agree – they should go outside or it will be the same or most likely worse should she get further up the ladder!!!!

  • WTS

    This story and the video make me glad I live in a CO community with law enforcement philosophy that is much less likely to be over aggressive than Denver. Every time we see police in action we need to pull out the cell cameras becuase it is one of the best ways to police the police. Most are good, dedicated public servants but when some show they are not suited to the difficult job they need to be disciplined and/or let go.

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