Denver City Council approves $3.25 million jail abuse settlement

Denver Sheriff again

DENVER — A former jail inmate’s lawsuit against the city of Denver revealed a series of scandals.

It resulted in the largest settlement the city has ever agreed to pay. The City Council voted Monday to give preliminary approval to the $3.25 million deal.

Jamal Hunter filed the lawsuit which claimed one deputy choked him and another looked the other way when other inmates attacked him. “It revealed the systemic and widespread corruption.  Mr. Hunter’s case wasn’t isolated,” his attorney said when the settlement was announced last week.

The attorney also said the lawsuit uncovered a culture of excessive force, corruption and cover-up by Denver deputies, police and city attorneys.

Rather than release several years’ worth of secret internal documents, the city is agreeing to settle the lawsuit and pay Hunter $3.25 million.

The council voted 10-1 to make the payment. Councilwoman Jeanne Faatz was the only one to vote no. “The fact that there may not be comments coming does not mean there is unanimity in feeling on the council.

The exact details are not public yet, but the settlement also calls for Denver to make significant changes in the way it handles such cases.

“I think it’s important that the reform does take place and it doesn’t go under the rug and with a settlement like this I believe they’re going to be making the proper moves toward doing that,” Jamal Hunter says.

The Denver City Council is expected to vote on final approval of the settlement to be paid to Hunter Monday, August 4.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock announced plans for an outside review of the Denver Sheriff’s Department. He revealed the plan during an interview with Colorado Public Radio Monday.

Denver Sheriff Gary Wilson resigned a week earlier as a result of the the growing number of abuse cases.