The largest payouts for lawsuits related to police misconduct in Colorado have all come at the expense of Denver’s taxpayers and reveal staggering levels of abuse and neglect among law enforcement agencies in the Colorado’s largest city.
In 2014, the Denver City Council gave its approval to a $3.25 settlement in a federal lawsuit filed by Jamal Hunter, who claimed he was choked, beaten, and had his genitals scalded by jail inmates in an attack described by The Denver Post as torture
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Hunter had been jailed in 2011 after a domestic assault incident involving his ex-wife. "Hunter said he was the only person with a misdemeanor charge placed in a jail pod with more than 60 felons, including gang members," according to the Post.
He said he was not taken to the hospital until eight days after the attack occurred, the Post reported.
A video captured Hunter being choked in his cell by a deputy, 7News Denver reported
. The video doesn't show Hunter resisting or physically threatening any deputies.
Another jailhouse incident in Denver garnered the largest settlement prior to Hunter’s.
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In 2008, a $3M settlement was reached with city of Denver after the 2006 death of a woman who died in jail from injuries sustained from a drunken-driving crash. Emily Rice’s pleas for help went ignored by jail officials who then lied about checking on Rice during her 20-hour lockup, according to The Denver Post
Another $4M was settled by Denver Health in a wrongful death lawsuit after it was found the Rice’s injuries went “undetected and untreated” by the hospital before she was released into police custody, according to 7News Denver
In 2001, a settlement of $2.25 million was awarded to the family of Randy Bartel, after a 1989 crash with police killed Bartel. The broadside collision occurred when a Denver police officer ran a red light at high speed, “responding to a nonemergency call,” according to The Denver Post.
The Post reported the settlement was largest payout for “Denver police-related action.” The 12 years between the incident and the federal jury ruling underscores years of delay and obstruction by the city and police department, according to the Post’s reporting
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