DENVER (CBS4) – An attorney involved in the lawsuit over the death of Denver Jail inmate Marvin Booker in 2010 is reacting to the latest incident involving Deputy James Grimes of the Denver Sheriff Department. He was charged with speeding 100+ mph in a prison transport van.
Grimes was one of the five Denver deputies deemed responsible in the death of Booker. The city paid out millions in a verdict over Booker’s death.
One of Booker’s family’s attorneys, Mari Newman, believes the deputies should have been punished.
“The Booker family believed that the deputies who killed him should’ve been, not just fired but charged criminally and this is a perfect example of why that is,” said Newman, a partner with Killmer, Lane & Newman, LLP.
Newman has been in touch with the Booker family since his death in 2010. While the case is never far from her mind, the news of Grimes’ latest trouble brought up old frustrations.
“I wish I could say that I was surprised to hear that Deputy James Grimes engaged in another round of misconduct where he put inmates at risk, but I’m not,” Newman said. “This is the only possible outcome when law enforcement officers are treated like they’re above the law. They go on to offend again and again and again.”
Newman says she has long believed there should be more throughout, independent investigations of law enforcement conduct. She says she believes this legislative session, we could see related changes.
“One of the things that I think is going to be discussed in this legislative session is the need for more independent review of law enforcement agencies and particularly in cases where there is either deadly force or very high force. Now, this isn’t one of those cases, but it does show the need for there to be some independence. Because, had there been truly an independent investigation after Deputy Grimes and others killed Marvin Booker, he would’ve been certainly disciplined and probably fired and criminally charged but he wasn’t because it was the fox watching the hen house.”