Tentative deal seen for disabled vet beaten by Denver police

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 04, 2015 7:31 PM

By Keith Coffman

DENVER (Reuters) - The city of Denver has agreed to pay a disabled veteran who sued police after he was beaten unconscious by an officer who has been accused repeatedly of using excessive force, the victim's lawyer said on Wednesday.

The terms of the proposed settlement between the city and James Moore have not been made public because the agreement has yet to be approved by Denver City Council, said Moore's lawyer, David Lane.

A spokeswoman for Mayor Michael Hancock said the city cannot comment on the case because the deal is not finalized.

Moore says in a federal lawsuit that he was "hog tied," beaten and clubbed by officers Shawn Miller and James Robledo in 2008 after they responded to a noise complaint at his Denver apartment.

He accused the pair of attacking him without provocation after he asked them what was going on.

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," the complaint said.

Lane said Miller has been the target of more than three dozen citizen complaints, and that he has been sued in federal court at least three times.

"Shawn Miller is one of the most violent officers on the Denver force and should not only be fired but prosecuted," the lawyer said.

Denver Police Commander Matthew Murray told Reuters that Miller has never had an excessive force complaint against him upheld after each of the cases was reviewed by the city's independent police monitor.

"I'm not defending or indicting him (Miller), but you have to look at the facts of each case," Murray said of the 10-year veteran of the force.

After the Moore case is finalized, the department will open up Miller's entire complaint file for the public to see, the commander added.

Lane said the city paid $220,000 to settle another excessive force lawsuit relating to a 2008 incident in which Miller was accused of breaking the kneecap of a man after the pair got into a verbal altercation.

(Reporting by Keith Coffman; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Eric Walsh)