Expert weighs in on videos of alleged abuse

DENVER –Several videos have surfaced over the past week depicting what appears to be alleged abuse by Denver law enforcement.

In one video, a Denver Police officer apparently shoves a Rockies fan to the ground. In another, a Denver Sheriff's deputy punches an inmate in the face after the inmate allegedly pushed a phone toward him.

Dan Montgomery is a former police chief of the Westminster Police Department and says there's no doubt more cases of abuse are surfacing, but adds it's important to let the corrective process work.

"We tend to see these videos and it's a very short snippet of what transpired," Montgomery said. "The worst thing we can do is jump to conclusions. So, we need to investigate those."

Montgomery specializes in excessive force by law enforcement. He says often training and stress are to blame when situations escalate.

"Sometimes, a street officer or a corrections officer will react emotionally, become emotionally captured and –guess what- they lose perspective and they overreact," he said. "In all cases that I deal with, I find that."

Though alleged excessive force is visible in both agencies, the experiences of a street cop and a corrections officer differ drastically, he says. Jail is a world the public rarely sees where officers have more flexibility in their confrontations.

"We need to train these corrections officers on how to handle themselves under stress," he says.

Both agencies are under as much pressure as they are scrutiny.

"We are seeing more and more and more [instances of alleged abuse]," he says. "Even on an inexpensive cellphone you can have recording capability."

He adds exposure is ever present.

"This is just the world we live in today and the citizens need to realize that, but so do the officers," he said

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)


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