DENVER (AP) – A federal jury has awarded $50,000 to a former Denver jail inmate who was slammed into a courtroom wall by a sheriff’s deputy in 2012.
The Denver Post reports the jury declined to award punitive damages to Anthony Waller, who alleged in a lawsuit that former Deputy Brady Lovingier violated his civil rights.
Jurors also didn’t find the city or sheriff department responsible for the actions of Lovingier, who no longer works for the sheriff’s department.
The award was detailed in a verdict form filed May 12 in U.S. District Court.
Waller was speaking to a county judge during a September 2012 hearing on an assault case Lovingier grabbed him by a chain around his waist and slammed him into a wall.
Waller contended that the attack was unprovoked and that he suffered broken teeth and head wounds.
Lovingier was suspended for what officials deemed excessive force, but he argued the force was necessary.
Former Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey declined to prosecute Lovingier, saying he did not intentionally hurt Waller. Other deputies in court when the incident happened said Waller was acting aggressively.
But a Denver District Court judge later said prosecutors should have charged Lovingier with misdemeanor assault. By that time, the statute of limitations had passed.
Activists had criticized Morrissey’s office for declining to bring charges against law enforcement officers, particularly in cases involving police shootings and use of force.
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