Firings Of Officers In LoDo Beating Case Overturned

DENVER (CBS4) – It’s been ordered that two Denver police officers fired in a highly publicized case for beating up a young man in LoDo get their jobs back.

The beating was caught on surveillance tape.

The firings of officers Randy Murr and Devin Sparks were overturned Tuesday by a three person panel of hearing officers for the Denver Civil Service Commission.

The panel ruled that the firings were improper because they had already been disciplined earlier even though that much lighter punishment had been rescinded.

The video of the incident combined with the light punishment at the time set off a public outrage. The officers were seen confronting then 23-year-old Michael DeHerrera. He was talking with his father on a cell phone at the time. Sparks was seen throwing DeHerrera to the ground and then striking him several times.

Both officers were initially given punishment involving loss of three days pay. That led to community meetings and protests that eventually led to the resignation of then Manager of Safety Ron Perea.

DeHerrera and his father, Anthony DeHerrera, met with the mayor, police chief and many others. Eventually the punishment was rescinded and new Manager of Safety Charles Garcia ordered the two officers fired.

The fired policemen appealed to the Civil Service Commission and now a panel has ruled they should be returned to their job with back pay.

“It’s horrible, a sad day, totally wrong,” Anthony DeHerrera told CBS4 investigator Rick Sallinger. “If former Manager of Safety Ron Perea had made the right decision this wouldn’t have happened.”

Mayor Michael Hancock’s office told Sallinger the city attorney will appeal the decision.

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  • Jeffrey Michael Freeman

    Why have these officers not been arrested for aggravated assault? Are they above the law? Furthermore when people, working for the police and D.A.’s office, conspire to permit these crimes to be committed against the people without stopping them is this not a violation of the RICO act against organized crime? I am not stupid and I know the laws are to be applied equally to everyone as we are endowed with being equal according to the constitution of the United States.

    Do you wonder why so many youth feel so helpless and commit suicide at the highest rates in the history of mankind and specific to the Colorado region higher rates of psychosis amongst teenagers anywhere in the world? It is only now with the advent of cameras everywhere that the truth behind this organized criminal activity of the police is revealed. We as a community should be ashamed of ourselves for not demanding these officers get charged with the crimes they have so obviously committed. President Nixon was not above the law and neither should the police in Denver for the sake of our children. The alternative makes us all killers and I do not feel comfortable with that idea, Do you?

    • 4cast result

      The officers weren’t arrested for aggravated assault because the facts of this case do not support that charge. For example De Herrera didn’t receive serious bodily injury, which is one of the elements of aggravated assault. You want both officers charges although the video only shows one officer striking De Herrera. So what did the second officer do? You may not be stupid, but you should get a grip of your emotions.

      • Ignorance Detector

        How ignorantly naive of you.

      • Jeffrey Michael Freeman

        The requirement for aggravation is that the police is trained to use deadly force with his hands. This could very well have ended that way as the picture of the victim shows the beating as being very serious. Furthermore the crime is aggravated as the officer is a person in a position of authority. Complicity is still a crime. If one officer drives another to a bank that robs the bank while he is full knowing of the crime and the officer does nothing to communicate the crime, that is complicity. He is an accomplice to that crime as is the entirety of the police department by not charging the officer.

        My emotions are not the issue. The health and safety of our communities are. When these acts are glossed over and turned around on the victims the victims are psychologically damaged. These damages lead to suicide amongst teens that rates at the highest ever in the history of the world! And a psychosis that endangers everyone. Why can not the cowardly police be true to their duty and their oaths to protect the public. The police act like gangsters that refuse to rat out the bad guys. This by definition makes them all bad guys and by way of complicity killers.

      • 4cast result

        wow ….. so the police are responsible for teen suicides now too….no one could argue with your logic…. brilliant

  • Jeffrey Michael Freeman

    Did channel 4 news censor my first submission? No wonder the police have such power.

  • Jeffrey Michael Freeman

    Oh never mind. It is back. Sorry about it.

  • D. Howard

    Everyone ‘s co-signing for the DPD, but the fact of the matter is that for every complaint filed against them that MIGHT get through the right channels, there are plenty others that get systematically swept under the rug. I feell that i know this because it’s happened to me, and i STILL wear th scars of my assault by the DPD three years after the fact! I say “DPD” because because i blame them as a whole, not just individually.

  • ahelir

    A suspension may be appropriate for breaking department rules, however, they also broke the law. Police are not above the law and should be prosecuted in accordance with the law. Put on trial, and if convicted, should receive the maximum penalty allowed by law. They are persons in authority, they know the law and should be most aware of the penalties for breaking those laws. That is why they should be prosecuted to the maximum extent of the law.

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