October 15, 2014

Jurors Award $4.65 Million in Taser-Torture Death of Marvin Booker

A federal jury found five Denver sheriff's deputies used excessive force against a homeless street preacher who died in the city's downtown jail and awarded his family a record $4.65 million in damages, a verdict an attorney said should send a message to law enforcement everywhere. [SOURCE]

Marvin Booker died in 2010 after deputies shocked him with a Taser while he was handcuffed, put him in a sleeper hold and lay on top of him, apparently in an effort to control him. The raw video of his killing is available online.

Inmates told investigators that the struggle began when he was ordered to sit down in the jail's booking area but instead moved to collect his shoes, which he had taken off for comfort. His family's attorneys said that was a zealous overreaction to the 56-year-old, who was frail and suffered a heart condition. The city had argued the deputies' actions were in line with the department's policies for subduing a combative inmate.
"He didn't deserve what these five sheriffs did to him that night," his brother, Spencer Booker, said, fighting tears after the verdict. "The jury spoke very, very, very clearly that they used excessive force against my brother. Your actions call for consequences."
Booker's family filed the federal lawsuit against the city and county of Denver as well as deputies Faun Gomez, James Grimes, Kyle Sharp and Kenneth Robinette and Sgt. Carrie Rodriguez. In a rare move on the eve of the trial, the city accepted liability for the actions of the deputies, meaning it is responsible for damages.

City Attorney Scott Martinez said the city was disappointed, but thanked the jurors for their work.
"The city remains committed to its ongoing efforts to improve the Denver Sheriff's Department," Martinez said in a statement.
I suspect that it will take more of these civil lawsuits before police departments around the nation change their taser-happy behavior. At least, we can be sure that police officers in the city of Denver will think twice before they engage in these taser-torture actions again! In fact, it seems that the police officers involved in the death of Mr. Booker should be prosecuted and fired from their jobs. They are definitely *not* public servants!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

This is awesome news... he is one less of the many that never get justice!!!