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Denver Policemen Fired Over Antigay Beating

Denver Policemen Fired Over Antigay Beating


Two Denver policemen have been fired for beating a gay man in 2009 and lying about the action captured on a surveillance camera.

According to Reuters, in April 2009, Devin Sparks and Randy Murr detained Michael DeHerrera and his partner, Shawn Johnson, after Johnson was ejected from a downtown bar. The officers said that force was required to subdue the men, but a surveillance camera showed DeHerrera talking on a cell phone as Sparks tossed him to the ground and hit him with a metal rod.

Although police chief Gerry Whitman had recommended the officers be terminated, the then-safety manager Ron Perea suspended them for three days in a move that outraged the LGBT and Hispanic communities. Nearly two years later, new safety manager Charles Garcia said their actions brought "immeasurable harm" to the department.

Sparks was dismissed for "inappropriate use of force" and lying in his police report, and Murr was let go for falsifying his report, reports Reuters.

Watch video of the beating.

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