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The Law Office of Douglas Richards

FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR / ASSISTANT UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

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$1 Million in Police Brutality Settlements This Year

The City of Denver has eclipsed the $1 million mark in police brutality settlements this year.  This happened in the middle of June when the city council unanimously voted to settle two excess force lawsuits totaling $80,000. 

The first case started in 2008 when a Brighton volunteer firefighter was badgered and punched by another man while carrying a pizza to his vehicle.  The firefighter, Jared Lunn, spotted a police officer, Eric Sellers, who reportedly refused Lunn’s request for help.  Then when Lunn made a sarcastic remark, Sellers placed him in a chokehold, cuffed him and allegedly would not allow him to leave unless he apologized.  Officer Sellers, after serving a 40-day suspension, resigned and the case was settled for $45,000.

The second case was two years later when Denver Police were captured on videotape beating Mark Ashford.  Ashford was walking his dogs when he noticed police pull over a driver for not stopping at a stop sign.  Ashford offered to testify that the driver had indeed stopped, the Police Officers John Diaz and Jeff Cook detained and beat him.  Ashford’s attorney said the officers punched Ashford, pinned him up against a fence and forced his head into the concrete.  The Denver Post reported that Officer Diaz retired and Officer Cook did not receive punishment for use of excessive force.  The case was settled for $35,000.

If you believe you have been a victim of police brutality or false arrest it is important that you seek an experienced lawyer to fight for you.