Denver - Police Monitor & Chief Disagree On Force Case
Female officer for her use of force on an intoxicated woman
   
 
More Today's News:
ߦ   Heroes Down: Gilchrist Deputies Noel Ramirez & Taylor Lindsey Assassinated
ߦ   Former First Lady Barbara Bush's funeral arrangements
ߦ   3 Billings cops disciplined for having sex on city property
ߦ   Child Sex Tourism
ߦ   Dickinson Public Library To Host Teen Job Fair
ߦ   Fallen SAPD officer gives the gift of life to 4 strangers
ߦ   Grandma arrested after killing husband and another woman
ߦ   Homicide on Healey Drive
ߦ   Investigation into Fatal Crash at 2100 State Highway 6 South
ߦ   Man charged with solicitation of capital murder for allegedly trying to hire hitman to kill four
ߦ   Round Rock Man Faces Federal Counterfeiting Charges
ߦ   Texas City Valero Hit By Explosion, Fire
ߦ   Baby killer Genene Jones back in San Antonio court
ߦ   Burnet County Sheriffs Office - Inmate/Arrests Summary
ߦ   Canine Distemper Closes Animal Shelter
ߦ   Charges filed in shooting of deputy constables
ߦ   Constables arrest suspect for Failure to Stop and Render Aid
ߦ   Dickinson PD Will 'Play It Cool' This Summer
ߦ   DWI gets driver $1k fine 10 days in county jail
ߦ   Former FBI Special Agent Pleads Guilty to Leaking Classified National Defense Information
ߦ   Investigation into Fatal Crash at 3000 North Sam Houston Parkway East
ߦ   Local Businessman Sentenced for Credit Card Fraud and ID Theft
ߦ   Major Takedown Dismantles Multi-State Heroin and Fentanyl Network
ߦ   Paris Police Dept - Daily Arrests/Activity Summary
ߦ   Reward Offered for Most Wanted Fugitive, Gang Member from Austin
ߦ   Suspect arrested for Intoxication Assault after crash leaves victim seriously injured
ߦ   UPDATE: Suspect Arrested, Charged in Fatal Crash at 11401 South Post Oak
ߦ   Update: Unified Command responds to gas pipeline fire near Port O'Connor
ߦ   17 Huntsville prisoners on hunger strike after lockdown following feces-throwing, other infractions
ߦ   Brownsville man convicted of stabbing 85-year-old woman with screwdriver gets execution date
ߦ   Constable deputy wounded in shootout in Atascocita
ߦ   David Buckel, prominent gay rights lawyer, burns himself to death in New York to protest global warming
ߦ   Deputy Constable Wounded In Shooting
ߦ   Deputy cries as he describes San Antonio children tied up like dogs
ߦ   Joining Forces to Fight Child Abuse

   Next >>
 
Search Archives:

Denver’s independent monitor, who oversees Denver law enforcement and safety agencies, says the Denver Police Department and Manager of Safety made the wrong call in not disciplining a female officer for her use of force on an intoxicated woman in a 2012 case that is just now coming to light.


A CBS4 investigation obtained surveillance videotapes, photos and interviews from the case which stemmed from a police call at the Renaissance West End Flats located at 1490 Zenobia Street on Dec. 28, 2012. Police say they received a 911 hang up call from apartment 315.

When two officers arrived to follow up on the 911 call, officers said they heard loud arguing emanating from the apartment. The occupants, identified as Patricia Lucero and Nickie Penaflor, had both been drinking and fighting.

Officers found Penaflor had an outstanding warrant so they arrested him. Lucero, however, was not wanted and was not arrested for a crime. But one of the two officers, Marika Putnam, decided to take Lucero to detox due to her inebriation and aggressiveness.

“That was a judgment call and a good call based on how aggressive the lady was,” said Police Chief Robert White. “Apparently the officer felt she (Lucero) was a harm to herself or others and that’s why they took her to detox.” Lucero admitted having six beers that evening.

But after being handcuffed, surveillance videotape from interior cameras at the apartment complex, reviewed and aired by CBS4, show Lucero twice crashing into walls headfirst while handcuffed and under the control of Officer Putnam. In written reports, police blame Lucero for causing herself to crash into walls. In one police account, summarizing Putnam’s actions, it says, “This redirecting action (by Putnam) caused Lucero to stumble forward and strike her head on the elevator alcove wall.”

In a statement, Putnam said that in the first crash into a wall, “I spun her around to move her to a safer position.” On the second time that Lucero ran into a wall, the officer said, “I believe that she stumbled due to her high intoxication level.” Asked if she had intentionally run Lucero into a wall, Putnam responded, “No.”

By the time Lucero reached the lobby of her apart ment building she was bleeding profusely from a head wound. She was hospitalized and received stitches.

“She had no reason to hit me that hard,” Lucero later told a police sergeant in a videotaped interview. “We were walking to the elevator and she banged my head against the wall.”

Lucero complained she was a victim of excessive force. But a Denver police internal review of the incident exonerated Officer Putnam of unnecessary force. Chief White signed off on that recommendation.

“When I look at the totality, I think the officer’s actions were reasonable given the circumstances they were confronted with,” White said. “I think we came to the right decision. I don’t think the officer was excessive or malicious in her actions in dealing with the lady."

“As a result of her (Putnam’s) attempt t o gain control, one time she (Lucero) hit her head on the wall and the other time hit her head against the elevator. I am convinced both those bumps were the result of the officer’s attempt to gain control, not intentional acts on the officer’s part.”
However, in a report released Thursday, Denver’s independent monitor, Nick Mitchell, took the opposite view, writing that Lucero was a victim of excessive force.

“One of the officers twice maneuvered the woman head-first towards walls in a manner that risked serious injury,” wrote Mitchell. “When taking individuals into protective custody, officers have an affirmative obligation to ‘make every reasonable effort to protect the detainee’s health and safety.’“The Office of the Independent Monitor recommended that the officer be disciplined for using inappropriate force and failing to protect a detainee who was handcuffed and otherwise vulnerable, but the Manager of Safety’s Office did not accept our recommendation.”
Post a comment
Name/Nickname:
(required)
Email Address: (must be a valid address)
(will not be published or shared)
Comments: (plain text only)
Printer Friendly Format  Printer Friendly Format    Send to a Friend  Send to a Friend    RSS Feed  RSS Feed
  Facebook   Share link on Twitter Tweet  
© 1999-2018 The Police News. All rights reserved.