KUSA - The Denver District Attorney wants to turn over new evidence in the case of a man who died in the custody of sheriff’s deputies seven years ago to a Grand Jury.
In a news release Thursday morning, DA Beth McCann said her office was not going to have the Grand Jury explore homicide charges, which were declined by the previous district attorney and that she says she does not want to reopen.
“There is no new information that would warrant a re-examination of DA Morrissey’s decision not to file homicide charges,” McCann said in a news release.
She said her inquiry will focus on “certain conduct” that may have happened in the aftermath of the incident. In the news release, McCann said this information came to light during a 2014 federal civil rights trial concerning Booker’s death.
McCann’s office is turning the potential misconduct charges over to the Grand Jury to “allow for a complete and thorough review of new questions that have been raised about conduct that took place after the death of Mr. Booker.”
Booker died while he was being restrained by five Denver Sheriff’s Deputies at the Van Cise-Simonet Detention Center in downtown Denver in 2010.
His family met with McCann this summer to discuss reopening a criminal investigation into the case.
While an autopsy report suggests cocaine and an enlarged heart played a role in Booker’s death, family members believe he was actually killed by a chokehold and the subsequent use of a stun gun.
In 2014, a civil suit led the City of Denver to settle and pay Booker’s family $6 million. In that case, Sgt. Carrie Rodriguez testified that she mistakenly gave police the wrong taser for analysis after the death.
The Booker family believes it was no mistake, asserting Sgt. Rodriguez switched the taser because she used it longer than recommended by the manufacturer.
Booker's death was one of a series of excessive force cases and big payouts involving the city of Denver.
It eventually called on an outside firm to produce a report that made recommendations for changes at the jails.
9NEWS has reached out to Booker’s family for comment about McCann’s decision to turn the case over to a Grand Jury.
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