Family looks for justice 2 years after jail death

9:37 PM, Jan 21, 2013   |    comments
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"Justice, for me, would be for [the city] to face the citizens of Colorado and let them decide whether or not [deputies] were justified in what they did to my brother," Spencer Booker, Marvin Booker's younger brother, said Monday.

Spencer and his family thought late last year that this week would bring a start to the federal civil lawsuit against the City and County of Denver, but late last month they learned that a judge had agreed to postpone the case while Denver attempts to appeal a legal issue.

In July of 2010, Marvin Booker died inside the Denver jail shortly after deputies corralled him, tased him, and put him in a chokehold in the jail's booking area. Attorneys for the city, through legal motions, have repeatedly stated that the deputies were justified in their use of force based upon Booker's combativeness that night. They cite an autopsy report that suggested Booker's body "showed the presence of cocaine in his system, consistent with a lengthy history of crack cocaine use."

The Denver District Attorney cleared all deputies involved of criminal wrongdoing, but the family of Booker maintains Marvin Booker's Constitutional rights were violated when deputies used what they believe to be excessive force in trying to quiet Booker.
"They violated the civil rights, the Constitutional rights, of Marvin Booker in killing him," attorney Darold Kilmer said. "They must be held accountable according to the conscience of the community."

Kilmer says the use of a Taser for eight seconds that night, along with the use of a head lock for two and a half minutes, shows an excessive amount of force being used on a man who was simply trying to go for his shoes.

"There was nobody at risk of injury at this point. Mr Booker is on his face, begging for his life. They reach in and they drive-stun the taser," Kilmer said during an earlier court appearance.

Kilmer now hopes the case can head to trial by the end of the year.

"The city has avoided seeking justice, and it has avoided allowing justice to be had by the Booker family. That's an outrage and the city should know that," Kilmer said.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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