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Federal judge approves record settlement in Denver Jail abuse case

Denver Sheriff again

DENVER — U.S. federal Judge John Kane has accepted a record $3.25 settlement the city of Denver offered earlier this week to a former inmate who was abused while in the Denver Jail.

Jamal Hunter sued the city over brutality and corruption inside the jail. He says he was choked by one sheriff’s deputy, and another looked the other way while other inmates attacked him. There is videotape to back up his claims.

Judge originally questioned settlement

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.