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DPD Officer Accused In Beating Incident Could Be Fired

By Lindsay Watts (generic)
Published On: Mar 01 2013 06:55:12 PM CST
Updated On: Mar 16 2011 12:26:51 PM CDT
DENVER, Colo. -

The Denver police chief is calling for the firing of an officer involved in an alleged beating in front of a LoDo nightclub almost two years ago. The alleged victim, Michael DeHerrera is the son of Pueblo County Sheriff's Deputy Anthony DeHerrera.

Both DPD officers involved have kept their jobs after the incident, which was caught on camera.

"For a while there, I didn't want to put my badge back on," said Anthony DeHerrera. "I almost quit."

DeHerrera said he's spent the last two years trying to bring the two officers involved to justice. He said, while he's happy with the Denver chief's recommendation, it's not enough.

"I would like both officers fired," he said. "I would like criminal charges brought on them, and I would like the FBI to pursue civil rights violations."

The Denver police union is furious with the Chief Gerald Whitman's recommendation. Union president Nick Rogers said Whitman recommended that Officer Devin Sparks be fired and that Cpl. Randy Murr receive a three-day suspension. Rogers said, initially, Whitman supported a three-day suspension for both officers.

"How it went from three days with no new information, is absolute nonsense, it is nonsense," said Rogers.

Rogers said he believes the change is due to Whitman's caving to public pressure on the case.

"It's all political," said Rogers. "It has to do with the fact that Chief Whitman is in a battle to save his job, we're in a mayoral race."

As for the incident caught on tape, Rogers said the officers were just doing their jobs. He said DeHerrera and his friend were being violent towards officers after getting kicked out of the nightclub, and that DeHerrera was resisting arrest when he was taken to the ground.

The Denver manager of safety has 15 days to decide whether Officer Sparks will be fired.

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