Friday, October 10, 2014

Police State Blues: Denver Deputies protest after getting feelings hurt by City demanding end to brutality

Keeping in mind that I come from a long history of protest - anti-war, anti-capitalist, anti-corporatist, environment, Occupy, worker's rights, women's rights, animal rights, planet rights....
I love a good protest - screaming, shouting, marching and dancin' in the streets protest..Fist in the air, arm in arm, solidarity with my sisters and brothers in common cause of confrontation of an elitist status quo - confrontation of that fear and loathing of change; that fear and loathing of moving forward for human, animal, plant, and planetary kind.

But, one protest I can't get behind is the rally, Monday, organized by the Colorado Fraternal Order of Police at the Denver County Jail protesting that they just aren't getting "support." The protesters included deputies from the jail that has been the recent focus of attention in Denver's on-going problem with Police State tactics - brutality, excessive force, abuse of power and disdain for citizens. 

Multiple lawsuits - to include the death of a homeless street preacher during his booking into the county jail and the severe beating of an injured inmate who had just been returned from the hospital for treatment of severe burns and injuries, received at the hands of other inmates and facilitated by a deputy - have brought the focus back to the issue of on-going brutality committed by those "entrusted to keep the peace" in the City and County of Denver.

From The Denver Channel (7) News, Denver's ABC affiliate:

The deputies just don't think they can "trust" DPD Chief White and they feel maligned for their "hard" work. Yeah, we know it's hard to work in a jail. We also know that beat downs, bribes, extortion, inciting prisoners, inciting police riots and attacking protesters, and attacking citizens have become SOP for DPD and the Sheriff's Department.

In Denver, the Blue Wall is tall and thick - the DPD and the County Deputies are already merged behind it.  Denver has a history of an out of control police and sheriff's department that, not only, continues to support their on-going pattern of abuse, but rewards the behavior by assuring that many of those accused of brutality and excessive force are never brought to justice - charges aren't brought against perpetrators of horrendous brutality; in those cases in which charges are levied against perpetrators, they are, often, dismissed; those perpetrators found guilty and forced off the job are simply rehired; and attacks on inmates and suspects seem to be ignored or swept under the rug.

The City and County of Denver has paid out $ 13 Million, in taxpayer funds, over the past 10 years to settle lawsuits against the Denver Police and the Denver County Sheriff's Department for excessive force and brutality committed by officers and deputies during arrest and detention to include a July, 2014, $3.25 Million settlement in the beating and cover up of jail inmate Jamal Hunter. From ABC affiliate, The Denver Channel 7 report on the case:
    Hunter accused Deputy Gaynel Rumer of encouraging a brutal 2011 attack where inmates in an eight-man cell beat Hunter unconscious and burned his thighs and genitals with cups of scalding water. The lawsuit alleged Rumer ignored Hunter's screams and even turned off the lights in the cell to give the attackers cover. Along with the burns, Hunter suffered fractures to his face.
    Thirteen days after Hunter returned to jail from the hospital, documents allege another deputy, Edward Keller, got fed up with Hunter complaining about his pain and inadequate medical care.
    The records say Hunter called Keller a racist and then a surveillance video showed Keller choking Hunter's neck as he shoved the injured inmate down onto a cell bunk. Three other deputies rushed in to help pin Hunter to the floor as a fifth deputy shocked the fallen inmate twice with a Taser stun gun.
    In the video, Hunter doesn't resist or attack the deputies.
    The Denver Channel, ABC affiliate - A former Denver inmate claims his eye
    socket was broken and his teeth were knocked out when a deputy slammed him into a wall.

    Then there are the cases left without disciplinary action against those who "serve"....

      • The 2011 case of John Heaney...
      • The case of Mark Ashford, a witness to police brutality, was then, in turn, attacked brutally by police for that act of being a witness and speaking out...

      In some it took awhile but final justice was obtained...
        ...The 2 officers, Devin Sparks and Randy Murr, were eventually fired in March, 2011, for lying in an excessive force case, reinstated in September, 2011, and, finally, fired again from the force, in March, 2012.

      So when the Colorado Fraternal Order of Police sets its membership - a membership hiding behind that big Blue Wall - out to whine about "lack of support," they do these officers and deputies no favors.

      ... Next to the Tea Party, I have never seen another group so in need of a clue; so in need of growing a collective soul; and so in need of a reality check.

      Boys and girls of the DPD and Denver Sheriff's Department -  Look within and clean up your own house before whining to those of us who have seen too many of your Police State tactics up close.

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