Justice is finally being served to two cowardly anti-gay policemen who in 2009 beat a gay man unconscious in front of a Downtown Denver nightclub
Almost two years ago in April of 2009 Michael DeHerrera, 24 and his companion Shawn Johnson, 25,were kicked out of a Denver nightclub after Johnson used the ladies restroom and then got into a scuffle with the club’s bouncer.
The bouncer called the police and asJohnson was being arrested and roughed up by police, DeHerrera used his cell phone to call his father, who just happened to be a sheriff’s deputy, for advice. When Police officer Randy Murr and Devin Sparks arrived Sparks saw DeHerrera on the phone, grabbed him and slammed him on the ground, repeatedly beat him with a metal club until he was unconscious.
Micheals father, Pueblo County Sheriff’s Deputy Anthony DeHerrera, said he heard his son yelling about Johnson being beaten and then heard the phone drop and a string of obscenities, along with what sounded like his son being hit. The last thing we heard was chilling as one of the policemen said, ‘We’ve got to get rid of the phone, they’re recording us,'” Then there was silence Anthony DeHerrera said.
After Micheal DeHerrera’s parents found him in the hospital after a frantic round of phone calls which included one in which the Denver police told them there was no reason to come down the hospital, but did Denise DeHerrera, Micheals mother was devastated recalling her son’s swollen “lopsided” head and numerous stitches. “He was basically covered from head to toe in bruises.”
Forunately for Micheal DeHerrera the entire incident was caught on tape by Denver’s H.A.L.O. camera system, a network of surveillance cameras meant to deter and capture crime.But only the beginning. Interestingly after DeHerrera is thrown to ground and he begins to be beaten the camera purposely pans away and zooms out and only returns to the incident AFTER Micheal was beaten.
It should have ended there with the termination of both Sparks’and Murth right there with criminal charges being brought up on both on both of them but Sparks and Murth falsifies the police report claiming that DeHerrera “spun to his left attempting to strike me with a closed right fist.
Ron Perea, Denver’s manager of safety, sided with the police officers and said the video doesn’t tell the whole story and suspended the two officers for three days, a decision that outraged Denver’s gay and Hispanic communities.
Now two years later justice has been finally served.
Denver’s independent police Richard Rosenthal, pointed to Sparks’ police report and claimed it was “pure fiction.” “Writing the report the way it was written, under penalty of perjury, was absolutely inappropriate and should have resulted in the officer’s termination,” Rosenthal said. “It was clear to me that they were trying to cover up what actually happened and make it look better than it was.”
Denver Police Chief Gerry Whitman recommended the officers be terminated and they were.
There is no news as of yet if Randy Murth and Devin Sparks will face any perjury as they well should
Michael DeHerrera and Shawn Johnson settled a lawsuit against the city out of court last August in hopes of hopes the settlement would set the framework for the firing of the two Denver police officers responsible.