New videos raise excessive force questions

DENVER - A federal judge has accepted a $3.3 million settlement offer from the city of Denver to a former inmate who claims a deputy encouraged other inmates to beat him.

Court documents filed Friday show U.S. District Judge John Kane has approved the settlement in Jamal Hunter's civil case, which still requires City Council's acceptance. Kane's order says only that he is satisfied that the agreement is an "appropriate resolution" of the suit.

PREVIOUS STORY: Denver proposes $3.3M jail abuse settlement

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On the same day, new video released by the City of Denver shows two separate incidents of alleged deputy misconduct against inmates.

The first video, recorded in December 2012, shows deputy Steven Valerio at a desk inside the detention center when an inmate approaches him.

An investigation by the city says the inmate slides a phone towards Valerio. Moments later, the deputy punches the inmate in the face and throws him to the ground.

Valerio was terminated after an investigation showed he lied on two written reports detailing what happened. The city also claims Valerio used excessive force. He is appealing that decision.

In a second video, the city says Sergeant Ned Germain ordered deputies to fire a Taser twice at a suicidal inmate sitting on his bed.

In city documents, the sergeant says the inmate refused verbal commands and was perceived as a threat. But the city says Germain's commands clearly violated a department policy when it comes to using a device like a Taser.

Sgt. Germain was suspended without pay for 10 days. He has appealed that decision and has a hearing set for next week.

Three other deputies were either suspended or reprimanded for not reporting the Taser incident.

The city says they won't talk about the incidents because of the on going appeals.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation with The Associated Press)


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