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2 Fired Denver Cops Can Have Their Jobs Back

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Denver Diner incident caught on camera in July 2009. (credit: CBS)

Denver Diner incident caught on camera in July 2009. (credit: CBS)

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DENVER (CBS4)- Two Denver Police Officers who were fired after scuffling with customers outside the Denver Diner and then accused of lying about it, can have their jobs back.

That decision from the Civil Service Commission was announced Friday.

Officers Kevin Devine and Ricky Nixon were terminated in April 2011 for an incident that occurred on July 12, 2009, outside the Denver Diner.

A city HALO camera captured the actions of the officers. In the video, Nixon sprayed a woman with mace while she is on her knees in a hold.

“I was the person who was grabbed and then maced directly in the face,” said Anna Ortega.

Nixon then turned on bystanders, spraying them with mace. Nixon then throws down handcuffed suspects to the ground.

The second officer to arrive, Devine, gets into it with the crowd, trying to pull on one woman and shoving another to the ground.

Denver Manager of Safety at the time, Charles Garcia, fired the officers.

“We continue to hold the Denver Police Department to the highest standards of professionalism and will not tolerate untruthfulness or inappropriate force,” said Garcia. “It is our hope that by restoring public confidence in the disciplinary process, we will restore confidence in the Department and all our fine officers.”

“I’ve stated all along that when you look at the facts in this case, it never warranted termination,” said Denver Police Protective Association spokesman Nick Rogers.

The Civil Service Commission not only said the officers need to be reinstated, but they should also receive back pay.

“We police ourselves. If we have somebody who is bad amongst us, we want them out. These guys didn’t do anything wrong,” said Rogers.

Ortega and three other women have filed civil suits against the city of Denver.

“Now I’m just hoping that a jury of my peers will be able to serve us justice, me and the other women involved,” said Ortega.

The city can still appeal the decision to reinstate the officers.

Statement from Manager of Safety Alex J. Martinez regarding the reinstatement of Officers Devine and Nixon: “The Manager of Safety’s office is committed to fair and impartial decision making based on the facts and circumstances of each individual case. While I respect the authority of the Civil Service Commission hearing officers, as with every case where the disciplinary decision is overturned, I will review the decision and consult with the city attorney’s office to decide if it is appropriate to pursue an appeal.”

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