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'He literally stood there and watched my child die': Denver officer fired after failing to aid shooting victim

A disciplinary record says the fired officer showed a "callous lack of humanity" while responding to the September 2020 shooting.

DENVER — A Denver Police Department (DPD) officer has been terminated after failing to render aid to a shooting victim who then died of his injuries, according to disciplinary records obtained by 9Wants to Know.

Officer Dewayne Rodgers, who had been with the department for about 16 years, received notice of his termination on Nov. 23. That same day, he also received notice that he had been terminated for failing to comply with the city's vaccine mandate. 

According to the disciplinary records, the shooting happened Sept. 7, 2020 at the Elm on Panorama apartments on East Harvard Avenue in southeast Denver. Rodgers was dispatched to the shooting with Officer David Clough, who has since resigned. 

Jalonte Jones, 18, was shot in the leg and later died of his injuries.

"He literally stood there and watched my child die," Jalonte's mother Dedranette Jones said Friday.

She said she believes her son would be alive if Rodgers had done his duty.

Credit: Denver Police Department
Officer Dewayne Rodgers

According to the record, Rodgers and Clough arrived on the scene and found a gunshot victim lying on his back in the parking lot. Rodgers contacted and requested an ambulance for the victim while Clough put crime scene tape around the area, according to the record.

According to the record, Rodgers did not render aid to the victim, who had been shot in the leg and was bleeding.

> Watch the raw body camera video of the incident below. Content warning: The video may be difficult for some viewers to watch.

"It's like why did you take this job? Why take a job that requires you to serve and protect and you did neither," the victim's mother questioned. "Don't get a job to help people if you have no plans on helping people. Because he didn't do anything to help my son. And if I could I would trade my life for my son's in a heartbeat." 

Another officer approached and tried to find the victim's wound to apply a tourniquet, when the two officers realized the victim was no longer moving, according to the record. Paramedics had to remove the victim's pants to find the wound, according to the record.

In an interview that December, Rodgers told investigators that he normally has a tourniquet with him, but on the night of the shooting, he had left it in his personal car. He also said the victim's pants were so saturated with blood that he couldn't determine where his wound was. 

"Though it is unknown if the victim would have survived this injury, had he received aid in the form of pressure or a tourniquet to slow the bleeding from his wound, it would be reasonable to expect him to be alive upon the paramedics' arrival. Had Officer Rodgers updated the information on the victim's condition, it is reasonable to expect that the paramedic response would have been faster," the report says. 

Rodgers also told investigators that he did not touch the victim because he didn't want to "hurt him any further than he was already injured." He said he was concerned that the victim would bleed out further, or that moving him would cause the bullet to damage his spine.

During the time Rodgers was speaking to the victim, he asked multiple questions, such as "Do you know who shot you?" and "What's your name?" according to body camera footage described in the record. The victim rarely responded to Rodgers' questions, but when he did, he repeatedly said "I'm dying," and said "I can't breathe" and "Oh my god. Help me," according to the record. Rodgers only once asked the victim where he was wounded, and the victim did not respond to that question, according to the record. 

"At no time did Officer Rodgers crouch down near the victim. At no time did Officer Rodgers touch the victim. At no time did Officer Rodgers offer words of comfort," the record says. "The callous lack of humanity that Officer Rodgers displayed is next exemplified by his response to the victim saying, 'Oh my god. Help me,' when Officer Rodgers replied, 'Do you live in this complex?'"

Clough resigned before the disciplinary process associated with this case was completed, according to the record.

Disciplinary records also show that Rodgers was terminated for violation of Denver's vaccine mandate, which required city employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or get an exemption, by Sept. 30. Rodgers was one of the seven DPD officers who filed a lawsuit against the mandate. A judge later dismissed that challenge.

Rodgers' termination was effective immediately. He has 10 days from Nov. 23 to file an appeal with Denver's Civil Service Commission.

A spokesperson for the Denver District Attorney's office said they reviewed the case in September 2020 and "did not see an applicable criminal charge."

D'Andre Horton was arrested the day after the shooting of Jones, according to DPD. In October of this year, he pleaded guilty to first-degree assault-extreme indifference, court records show. He was sentenced on Nov. 19 to 10 years in prison.

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