Posted Jul 30, 2014 08:30 pm CDT
Slammed into a courtroom window frame by a county sheriff’s deputy as a security camera rolled, a now-former Denver inmate says he suffered a head injury and broken teeth as a result of the Sept. 11, 2012 incident. He has filed a federal civil rights suit against the city and sheriff’s department.
Filed in federal court in Denver, the lawsuit (PDF) seeks $5 million in damages on behalf of Anthony Waller, who was in handcuffs and leg irons and wearing a waist chain at the time of the incident. It also seeks an injunction requiring court supervision of Denver jails, reports the Denver Post.
A video clip included with the article shows a sheriff’s deputy grabbing Waller from behind by his waist chain as the inmate stands in front of a judge, engaged in a discussion of his domestic violence case. The deputy swings Waller around sideways toward interior windows and a glass courtroom door that appears to lead to a secured area. Waller hits the wall with an audible thud, drops to his knees and is dragged from the courtroom by more than one deputy.
A voice on the tape then repeatedly says to Waller “You don’t turn on me!” and “Get on your feet!” as he is on the other side of the door. Another voice that apparently belongs to Waller says “I can’t move” and “Oh man, aaah,” as one of the officers asks, “Where’s the Taser?”
It appears from the clip that the deputy may have tugged slightly at Waller during his brief discussion with the judge, leading the inmate to turn slightly toward the deputy and then turn back to face the judge, who was speaking to Waller, just before the inmate was swung around toward the wall by the deputy.
The deputy, who is identified as Brady Lovingier, was later suspended for 30 days. KVDR says Judge Doris Burd made an internal affairs complaint to the Denver County sheriff’s office but the Denver district attorney’s office declined to prosecute.
He and a second deputy named as a defendant in the suit, Capt. Gina McCall, filed a police report to pursue a criminal case against Waller over the incident, but the charges were dismissed, the newspaper reports.
Colorado Independent: “Exclusive video: Denver deputy belted, then kicked inmate who posed no apparent threat”
North Denver News: “After scandals, a new Sheriff for Denver as Hancock rocked by allegations of abuse”