DENVER — Two Denver County Sheriff’s Department veterans have been placed on leave after an incident with a detainee, and video obtained by the Colorado Independent shows what led to the suspensions.
The video shows deputy Thomas Ford booking a man into the downtown detention center, walking over to the man and slugging him in the face then apparently kicking him. It’s unclear what provoked the action against inmate Kyle Askin.
“The incident occurred the evening of July 13, during the book-in process of a detainee,” a city news release read Wednesday. “Sheriff Gary Wilson has requested an investigation of criminal charges against the officer, which will be decided by the Denver District Attorney’s Office.”
Officer William Lewis was also put on investigative leave with pay for “writing an inaccurate reported related to the inappropriate force incident,” the release said.
Ford has been with the department for 6 1/2 years and Lewis is a 12-year veteran.
The Sheriff’s Office told KWGN on Wednesday that any video would not be released, but the Independent was able to obtain it and post it to its website.
KWGN’s Julie Hayden has confirmed Ford was involved in a 2011 videotaped incident involving excessive force used on another inmate, Jamal Hunter. That led to an investigation that resulted in two officers being suspended and a lawsuit filed by Hunter.
Ford was not one of those disciplined in the 2011 incident and he was not named in Hunter’s lawsuit.