Federal judge questions Denver’s record $3.25M settlement in jail inmate abuse case

DENVER -- Not so fast says a federal judge about the $3.25 million settlement the city of Denver reached with a former jail inmate in an abuse case. The victim sued Denver over allegations of brutality and corruption at the Denver Jail.

Jamal Hunter filed the federal lawsuit after he was choked by one Denver Sheriff's deputy and another looked the other way while other inmates attacked him.

The judge, John Kane, was outraged over the issue. He called for a federal investigation into the city's actions and ordered the city to turn over several years' worth of internal documents.

He wants issues in the Denver Sheriff's Office, the Police Department and the City Attorney's Office resolved before he goes along with the deal.

"He seemingly wants to make sure there are procedural changes [are] part of the settlement agreement," says legal analyst Dan Recht. "Judge Kane is an assertive vocal voice for justice."

Lawyers for both sides and the judge could be back in court Friday to talk more about the settlement.

The $3.25 million deal would be the city's biggest pay out in this type of case in history. The city council is set to consider whether to approve it Monday night.

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