Denver jail deputy who punched inmate won't be charged

DENVER - 9Wants to Know has learned Deputy Thomas Ford, who was suspended for punching an inmate at the city's jail, will not face any criminal charges.

A spokesperson for the Denver District Attorney's Office confirmed a review was done on the case and that "no criminal charges will be filed."

The incident occurred on July 13 in the jail's intake area.

In a letter sent to Sheriff Elias Diggins, District Attorney Mitchell Morrissey writes "there are important facts that do not appear on the video which must be evaluated in order to make a fully informed decision…."

The letter has been redacted online by 9NEWS to omit curse words:

Use of force letter

PREVIOUS STORY: Deputy on leave for allegedly punching inmate

"This investigation revealed that the inmate was making vile comments, racial slurs and threatening taunts toward the deputy sheriffs, particularly to Deputy Ford," Morrissey writes.

According to Morrissey's letter, inmate Kyle Askins uttered the "N" word numerous times and threatened physical violence.

The letter says Deputy Ford repeatedly told inmate Askins to "knock it off" and expected that Askins would "tire out."

Morrissey's letter also says Askins stood up just before he was punched and that Ford felt threatened by the inmate.

According to an account in the letter, Deputy Ford said he felt threatened.

"He popped up off the bench in an aggressive manner. His body was tense, and his face, and then, based on off of his previous threats about what he was going to do to me, I felt threatened and I defended myself, and I defended myself with a – strike to the face….," Deputy Ford said in the letter.

"I believe a jury would find that Deputy Ford's use of force was legally justified," Morrissey concludes in his letter.

Morrissey also says in the letter, according to witness accounts, Askins was committing the crime of "harassment" against Deputy Ford.

The letter also says Askins has no memory of the incident and believes he received an injury to the face by falling down on the 16th Street Mall.

Deputy Ford remains on paid leave as the City and County of Denver continues with determining the level of discipline.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)


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