Video shows alleged jail brutality

DENVER - 9Wants to Know obtained jail video showing alleged brutality against a former inmate who is currently suing the City over civil-rights violations.

A date-stamp on the video shows it was recorded by Denver Jail cameras on July 31, 2011.

A couple of weeks prior to the incident, Jamal Hunter was sent to the hospital after he was attacked by inmates with scalding water.

9Wants to Know was the first to feature Hunter's allegations.

In the video, Hunter, the former inmate, is immediately thrown down on his bunk by Deputy Edward Keller. Keller can be seen placing his hands around Hunter's neck. Other deputies then swarm his cell and begin to restrain him and use a Taser on him.

According to court documents obtained by 9Wants to Know, Keller is the subject of an investigation for his treatment of Hunter.

The video in question wasn't reviewed until this year after Denver's Independent Monitor highlighted a systematic problem of jail-brutality investigations falling through the cracks.

Denver Sheriff Gary Wilson released the following statement in regards to the video:

The Denver Sheriff Department does not condone or tolerate inappropriate behavior. We will hold our staff accountable if it is proven that they violated any criminal laws or rules of procedure.

Denver officers accused of witness tampering

Last week, the U.S. District Court judge John Kane said he wanted a full blown federal investigation of DPD and the sheriff's office.

In court, the judge said he wasn't making a judgment as to the officers' guilt, but he said "there is certainly cause to suspect that witnesses have been intimidated."

In March of this year, Denver police sergeants Brian Cotter and Brad Lenderink interviewed Amos Page, a self-proclaimed gang member serving prison time. Page said he witnessed what happened to Hunter at the Denver Jail in 2011.

Cotter and Lenderink told Page they were investigating what was going on at the jail, including the alleged misconduct of deputy Gaynel Rumer.

Sources tell 9NEWS Rumer has been disciplined for his role in Hunter's assault by inmates. He was suspended for 40 days without pay. He's back on the job.

However, new allegations outlined in the interview with Page, have the Denver Sheriff's Department investigating him again. He's not working with inmates at the moment.

During a DPD interview with Page, the officers repeatedly ask him why he was coming forward now, several years since the initial assault.

"The reason for me coming out on Rumer is because he was in the wrong too. It's his job to make sure everybody in that pod is safe," Page said in the interview with Cotter and Lenderink. "That's what his job description is. That's what his duties are. The fact that he turned a blind eye, made himself unavailable. That's messed up."

During his interview with police, Page admits he didn't stop an assault on Hunter.

"I know now I thought I had three to four years to think about it. It's not right. I feel bad," Page said.

One of the Denver officers, the transcript doesn't say which one, told Page the following:

"Page, let me tell you where you're headed with this, because you just put an affidavit in the federal court," the transcript documents an officer saying."

The officer goes on to say, "If you say this or more than this on the federal stand, you're subjecting yourself to a felony criminal charge for what happened to Jamal, because that's what that attorney came here to talk to you about. And while the topic isn't you, everything you say could be used against you. That affidavit is just the start of a slippery slope. Do you get that? Did you get that when they had you write that?"

9NEWS had our legal analyst Scott Robinson read the transcript.

"It's not clear cut, but it's worrisome," Robinson said. "The officers knew they were dealing with someone who is pretty sophisticated in the criminal justice system, so they made a big point of telling him that they weren't giving him Miranda. They also reminded him that he would end up on the witness stand if the case didn't settle, and that we, the police, are the people who put people in jail. You can certainly interpret those as threatening or intimidating statements. They may have been meant and intended innocently, but they sure don't sound like officers trying to get to the truth of a witness' statement."

9NEWS reached out to the Police Protective Association, the officers' union, to hear the officer's side. But because this is an open investigation, they said they couldn't comment.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)


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