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Cops Fired for Beating Gay Man

Cops Fired for Beating Gay Man


Two police officers in Denver were fired Friday for lying about their assault on a gay man, which was caught on surveillance video.

Officer Devin Sparks was officially fired for "inappropriate use of force" and lying on his police report, according to Reuters. Cpl. Randy Murr was fired for falsifying his report.

The assault took place in April 2009. Michael DeHerrera (pictured, right) and his partner, Shawn Johnson (left), were ejected from a Denver bar when Murr and Sparks arrived at the scene. The officers said they appeared to be belligerent and had to use force to subdue them, but video released later showed that DeHerrera was talking on his cell phone when Sparks threw him to the ground, attacking him with a metal rod wrapped in leather, known as a sap.

According to the Denver Post, the city's district attorney's office declined to prosecute the officers after reviewing the case. The police department then conducted an internal investigation that led to Sparks and Murr being suspended for three days. After the department reopened their case last summer, Police Chief Gerry Whitman said Sparks and Murr should be fired.

Friday, the city's manager of safety, Charles Garcia, who took over the position earlier this month, announced that the officers were terminated.

"We are entrusted with the public's confidence and that requires incorruptible character, fair treatment of all people, and truthfulness in all our officers," he said.

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