Denver officials are deeply divided over the proper level of punishment for a police officer who was seen on video tackling and beating a 23-year-old man who was doing nothing but talking on a telephone outside a LoDo nightclub.
The video of Officer Devin Sparks repeatedly hitting Michael DeHerrera of Denver with a department-issued piece of metal wrapped in leather, picking him up roughly and slamming a car door on his ankle has prompted Independent Monitor Richard Rosenthal to push for the firing of Sparks and Corporal Randy Murr.
Rosenthal, who monitors police internal investigations, maintains Sparks and Murr are unfit for the force because they didn't tell the truth about the April 4, 2009 incident. Rosenthal also believes the use of force by Sparks was excessive. The Denver City Council earlier this year agreed to pay $17,500 to settle a federal lawsuit brought by DeHerrera a