DENVER (CBS4) – CBS4 has learned the Denver Police Department is planning to demote a veteran captain after he was caught on videotape shoving a fan at Coors Field last summer.
Investigator Brian Maass reports the department has formulated a preliminary disciplinary recommendation to demote Cpt. Joe Black to lieutenant following an internal affairs investigation into the July 22 incident.
Contacted Monday afternoon, Black declined to comment on the CBS4 report saying he wanted to let the disciplinary process play out before making any comment.
Black is accused of using inappropriate force and failing to file a use of force report following the incident that was recorded on videotape 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.
“Officer, that is abuse,” says Buck, who said he had three beers at the baseball game.
The videotape prompted an internal DPD investigation and received nearly a quarter of a million views after it was posted on Facebook.
Last week, police sources say Cmdr. Michael Battista, who oversees Conduct Review for the Denver Police Department, informed Black that his preliminary recommendation was a demotion. There are several steps remaining in the disciplinary process before the demotion would take effect.
Buck was ejected from 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. If the department follows through with the recommended demotion, the loss of rank would cost Black thousands of dollars a year in salary.