DENVER (CBS4) – Denver’s Manager of Safety fired two patrol officers Monday for “Commission of a Deceptive Act” during the course of an excessive force incident.
Officers Kevin Devine and Ricky Nixon were terminated for an incident that occurred on July 12, 2009, outside the Denver Diner.
“We continue to hold the Denver Police Department to the highest standards of professionalism and will not tolerate untruthfulness or inappropriate force,” said Manager of Safety Charles Garcia in a statement released to CBS4. The incident in question was caught on videotape by one of Denver’s HALO surveillance cameras.
Last week, CBS4 reported Denver Police Chief Gerry Whitman recommended a 30 day suspension for Nixon and a 14 day suspension for Devine for the Denver Diner incident. The Manager of Safety disagreed with the Chief and felt more severe discipline was warranted.
“It is our hope,” said Garcia, “that by restoring public confidence in the disciplinary process, we will restore confidence in the Department and all our fine officers.”
Both officers were technically fired for lying about what occurred, and each was also disciplined for using inappropriate force.
A videotape obtained by CBS4 and aired Monday night shows one of the officers using a billy club to shove several women to the ground. Moments later, the same officer has a woman on her knees and subdued, when a second officer is seen approaching her and spraying mace in her face. He then turns on the crowd and sprays them with mace.
A short time later, two women who are already on the ground and in handcuffs are handled roughly by officers.
Nick Rogers, president of the Denver Police Protective Association, said he had reviewed the videotape hundreds of times and saw nothing wrong. “They did everything exactly right. There is no pretty way to arrest someone,” said Rogers.
Both fired officers have the right to appeal their terminations.
Statement From Manager Of Safety
Denver Manager of Safety Charles Garcia released the following complete statement about the case on Monday night:
“The decision today to terminate Officers Devine and Nixon was reached following a very fair, thorough and complete review of the case and reliance on the discipline matrix. We continue to hold the Denver Police Department to the highest standards of professionalism and will not tolerate untruthfulness or inappropriate force. Each officer has an affirmative obligation to serve and protect, as well as ensure constitutional policing from all officers in the department. It is our hope that by restoring public confidence in the disciplinary process, we will restore confidence in the department and all of our fine officers.”