A Denver police officer was fired because he used excessive force against a slightly built woman he had arrested and placed in a small jail cell according to an internal disciplinary report made public by the department. Officer James Medina is clearly depicted in a video forcing the women to the ground and pinning her neck and face to the floor to the point where she appears to go unconscious. Medina failed to request the assistance of a female officer and offer her medical attention. In using inappropriate force, Medina placed the woman at “great and unnecessary risk of serious bodily injury or death” the Denver Post reports. Medina is apparently appealing the decision.
The Denver police department is no stranger to citizen complaints and law suits alleging police brutality and some cops seem to stand out more than others. Officer Shawn Miller seems to be one of those cops according to attorney David Lane, who has been representing James Moore, a disabled veteran who sued Miller and others in 2010. The suit contended that the officers “beat Mr. Moore with such brutality while he was helpless on the ground that he lost consciousness, his heart stopped beating and paramedics or law enforcement officers had to administer CPR to save his life”. A tentative settlement was reached in that case where the city would pay $860,000. The city reached a settlement in another of Lane’s cases in 2008 for $225,000 where Jason Graber claimed that Miller roughed him up. Miller’s conduct so outraged the Denver Post that they wrote in an editorial that “Something isn’t right with the system when a police officer’s use of force results in more than $1 million in payouts to settle lawsuits, yet that officer has never been disciplined in those cases”. Disgruntled taxpayers have not remained quiet. In a February 7, 2015 letter to the Post, writer Bob Threlkeld, said: “Since it appears nearly impossible to either indict or fire police officers for their egregious behavior, I have a modest proposal: Continue to pay Miller his current salary and benefits on the condition he doesn’t show up for work. This will put a dent in defense lawyer David Lane’s annual income, but the city and its citizens will be more fiscally (and physically) secure”. Another writer urged the Post to call for Miller’s resignation.
Miller has had numerous complaints filed against him. In this video he appears to be bullying a handicapped woman because she didn’t buzz him into a building quick enough. In the same story, a man explains what happened to him when he videoed officers beating a man on the sidewalk and tripping a pregnant woman.