By Rick Sallinger
DENVER (CBS4)– The Denver District Attorney has cleared Denver sheriff’s deputies of possible criminal charges in connection with the death of an inmate last year, but a civil lawsuit in federal court may still come.
Michael Marshall died last year, nine days after being restrained by deputies. Video of the incident has been released after the DA issued his report.
The key moment occurred at 6:32 p.m. on Nov.11, 2015 in the Denver Downtown Detention Center.
Marshall, 50, who had been arrested on trespassing charges, gets up and attempts to walk away. A deputy points to him to sit down and pushes him to the wall. Marshall then slides down as other deputies approach and begins the process of restraint.
No state criminal charges will be filed, but Darold Killmer, an attorney for Marshall’s family, indicated even so, the possibility of a civil lawsuit exists.
“Since the police will not be prosecuted that leaves them with almost no option except to seek their remedy and their accountability in the civil courts,” he said.
Through previous lawsuits, his firm has obtained millions of dollars in payouts from the city.
Street preacher Marvin Booker’s case went to trial. It resulted in a $6 million settlement with the city after a jury verdict in the case from Booker’s death after being restrained by deputies.
Jamal Hunter was beaten by deputies in the jail. He survived and received $3.25 million.
Emily Rice died in the county jail after being held for DUI. Her family was awarded $7 million.
But with Marshall, District Attorney Mitch Morrissey found the deputies did their job properly.
“The lack of physical choking, tasing, any kind of strike, the lack of that kind of aggressive behavior of the sheriff,” he told CBS4 News.
And he pointed out the autopsy indicated Marshall could have had a heart attack before later vomiting into a mask.
But the family’s attorneys are studying the video according to Killmer, “Juries and judges have recognized that things are not right at the Denver jail, Denver doesn’t recognize it
Once again it may be left to a jury to decide.
The mayor’s office issued a statement, “The city will now conduct a swift and thorough internal review to determine if any rules and regulations were violated by the deputies. The Mayor has directed for this to occur as quickly and comprehensively as possible. That is what the family, deputies and community deserve.”