DENVER (CBS4) – A federal judge is calling on the Justice Department to investigate Denver police. The judge wants to know if officers intimidated witnesses to a brutal jail house attack.
The federal judge in the case says there is cause to suspect that witnesses were intimidated by Denver police officers. One witness in particular was involved in an attack. The judge has called for an investigation into the pattern and practices of the Denver Police Department and the Denver Sheriff’s Department at the jail.
Former inmate Jamal Hunter’s hip and inner thigh were badly injured by scalding water.
“I was attacked by inmates and it led to me being scalded very bad on my pelvis, my genitals, and it was just a terrible burn,” Hunter told CBS4’s Valerie Castro.
Hunter says he was assaulted while he served out a sentence at the Denver Detention Center in 2011. His nose was also broken in the attack. In a civil suit Hunter claims the attack was facilitated by a Denver sheriff’s deputy inside the jail.
“He turned a blind eye to what was going on, actually turned off lights in the cell while the attack was going on, allowed inmates to beat me,” Hunter said.
The case now stands in federal court with new allegations that Denver police detectives may have intimated witnesses in the case.
“Intimidating witnesses that were planning on testifying for me,” Hunter said.
The judge has ordered the U.S. Attorney’s Office to investigate both the Denver Police Department and the Denver Sheriff’s Department.
“I, for the life of me, do not understand and have not yet received an explanation of why the Denver Police Department Internal Affairs Bureau was even involved in this matter,” the judge said in court.
“The police department and sheriff’s department I believe are conspiring,” Hunter said.
Hunter says he wants justice not only for himself but also other inmates.
The Denver Police Department says it can’t comment on pending litigation. The U.S. Attorney’s Office acknowledges that it has received the judge’s request for an investigation.