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Dozens protest after Denver officer accused in beating gets job back

By Lindsay Watts, Weekend GMC Anchor/Target 13 Investigator , l.watts@krdo.com
Published On: Mar 11 2013 11:37:25 AM CDT
Updated On: Mar 01 2013 07:23:43 PM CST

Dozens protested Friday after a Denver officer accused of beating a Pueblo man got his job back.

DENVER -

Dozens protested in Denver Friday after one of the officers caught on camera beating a Pueblo man in 2009 got his job back.

In the last four years, Denver police Officer Devin Sparks and Cpl. Randy Murr have been fired, reinstated and fired again, accused of using inappropriate force while arresting Michael DeHerrera outside of a Denver nightclub, then lying about it.

Now Murr has been reinstated after appealing to the city's Civil Service Commission, a panel of three lawyers.

"The officers should have been fired and criminally charged for what they did to our son!" said Anthony DeHerrera, Michael's father and a Pueblo Sheriff's Office deputy, at Friday's rally against police brutality.

In 2009, DeHerrera and his friend were kicked out of a LoDo bar after they used the women's bathroom. Police got involved, and while DeHerrera was on the phone with his father, surveillance footage shows him being tackled to the ground and beaten by police.

The dozens of protesters marched to talk to Denver's mayor and police chief Friday afternoon, but the city leaders met them before they could get to their offices. City Attorney Doug Friednash said he agreed with protesters that the Civil Service Commission got it wrong in re-hiring Murr.

"We disagree with the decision," said Friednash. "And I think the corporal should not be reinstated under any circumstances."

He said he will appeal the commission's decision.

Anthony DeHerrera said he's happy to have so much support, but that the process has been frustrating.

"They tell us they're trying to change and change comes slowly, and for us to have faith," said DeHerrera. "Well, it's been four years. We're patient and we'll continue to be patient as long as we see things moving forward."

The city of Denver settled with Michael DeHerrera for a total of $15,500.

KRDO Newschannel 13 contacted Randy Murr's attorney for comment, but have not heard back yet.

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