Witnesses: Alleged Denver police beating unprovoked
DENVER (AP) – A man who alleges he was beaten by Denver police for no reason repeatedly yelled that he was not resisting arrest as officers roughed him up, a witness said.
Police said Thursday they were reopening an internal investigation into the beating allegations because of new information and witnesses. They did not elaborate.
Witness Hasan Aoutabachi told KUSA he and his girlfriend were two feet from 24-year-old Michael DeHerrera, who was talking on his cell phone and not being aggressive toward officers.
DeHerrera “got slammed to the ground like a rag doll,” Aoutabachi said. “He said nothing to the cop whatsoever. The next thing you know, the cop grabs him, I think by the neck, and just slams him on the floor and beats him senseless.”
Hispanics and African Americans want Denver Safety Manager Ron Perea to resign or fire the two officers.
Most of what happened in the April 2009 incident was caught on tape.
The decision to reopen the internal affairs case was announced after Perea attended a tense, hour-long meeting with minority community leaders.
Perea said during the meeting he stood by his decision to keep the officers on the force. But later he said officials had an obligation to examine the new evidence.
DeHerrera said he was ecstatic that new witnesses were talking with investigators.
“I can’t believe that the witnesses came forward, I am so grateful that they did,” he told KUSA.
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