DENVER — Newly-released body camera and surveillance video shows a handcuffed suspect shooting a Denver Police officer in the neck – and officers' responses to the incident that unfolded inside the garage of the downtown Denver jail late last month.
Around 9 p.m. the night of Nov. 28, DPD said, they stopped 33-year-old Daniel Cheeseman in a suspected stolen car. He walked away from the vehicle, and officers searched him before taking him into custody, police said. During the search, officers found one handgun and suspected narcotics in a backpack, they said.
While being processed in the jail garage about two hours later, however, a handcuffed Cheeseman shot an officer in the neck with a second gun.
Video shows the injured officer managed to cross behind another car to safety as other officers returned fire.
"Where am I hit?" he can be heard on the video asking.
Other officers called for ambulances. Police said both the suspect and the injured officer were taken to Denver Health. The injured officer was released the next day and is now back at work on a modified duty status as part of the department's reintegration program, a DPD spokesperson said.
Cheeseman was transported in critical condition and has not yet been charged by Denver's District Attorney. A spokeswoman said Wednesday there are two cases pending against him.
DPD said its internal affairs bureau will review any potential policy violations, but that it was "clear" officers missed a firearm while searching the suspect.
"This is officer safety 101," said Ed Obayashi, a police training expert who reviewed the case for 9NEWS. "You thoroughly search a prisoner."
He said something pretty clearly went wrong in this case if Cheeseman was able to bring a gun into jail property after officers arrested him.
"I mean this is going to stay with [the arresting officer] the rest of [their] career," Obayashi said. "It’s not only tragic, it’s one of the most embarrassing episodes that an officer can experience."
DPD said it has not changed any policies or procedures because of this incident at this time, but might in the future. A spokesperson also said that the other officers involved are also on modified duty status.
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