DPD Captain Demoted After Coors Field Incident

DENVER (CBS4) – CBS4 has learned that the Denver Police Department has officially demoted Captain Joe Black to the rank of lieutenant after he was seen on videotape shoving a fan at Coors Field last summer.

Black told CBS4 Monday evening he had “no comment” on the demotion, which was officially handed down late last week after Denver’s Manager of Safety agreed to the move. It took effect immediately.

Earlier this month, CBS4 reported the department formulated a preliminary recommendation to demote the captain following the July 22 incident.  It became final upon approval by the city’s manager of safety.

Black was accused of using inappropriate force and failing to file a use of force report following the incident that was videotaped and went viral. Black, who was working off duty security at the Rockies game, is seen telling 22-year-old Alex Buck several times to sit down. When Buck failed to comply, Black could be seen shoving the man three times.

“That is abuse,” says Buck, who said he had three beers at the baseball game.

The videotape was posted on Facebook and prompted an internal DPD investigation.

Buck was thrown out of the stadium for unruly behavior but was not arrested. He repeatedly yelled at the captain that the officer was violating the rights of an “American citizen.”

Black has been with the department since 1979. The loss of rank will cost Black thousands of dollars a year in lost salary.

Commander Matt Murray, a spokesperson for the police department, said, “The actions (then) Captain Black exhibited were not consistent with our culture, the values of the Denver Police Department, nor the expectation of the Denver community. As a result, the Executive Director of Public Safety, with Chief (Robert) White’s full support and agreement, ordered Joe Black be demoted from captain to lieutenant.”

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