Denver Police Officer Fired for Excessive Force Incident After Surveillance Video Leaked
After surveillance video showed a 16-year veteran of the Denver police force placed his knee across a female inmate’s neck until she passed out, the officer was fired for “egregiously disproportionate” or excessive force.
Former officer James Medina was shown in a surveillance video from July 2014 in which he entered the cell of suspect Seryina Trujillo, who was accused of resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer, and placed his knee across her neck to restrain her. In the video, she appears to go limp and slides off the bench in her holding cell. Medina did not seek medical help after Trujillo passed out, according to reports.
Medina was fired for the excessive force incident, the situation was investigated. The Denver Police Department said in a statement that he “violated several departmental rules and regulations.”
“The level of force he used … was egregiously disproportionate and placed Ms. Trujillo at great risk of serious bodily injury or death,” his termination letter said. “There are no significant mitigating factors present to warrant anything other than the presumptive penalty of termination.”
According to Medina’s termination report, he and a female police officer were attempting to take an intoxicated man into custody when Trujillo interfered. When she was arrested, according to the police report, she spat in the female officer’s face and kicked Medina as she was placed in his patrol car. When she arrived at the police station, she refused to remove her shoes and belt, which is part of arrest protocol, which was when Medina forced her to comply, leading to the excessive force incident.
“She was biting, kicking and clawing, and my client was the one with open wounds,” Medina’s attorney said in a statement. He argued that there was “absolutely no basis” for Medina to have been fired because he did not, in fact, use excessive force, but an appropriate amount of force to restrain an uncooperative and dangerous suspect.
Police Brutality, Excessive Force During Arrest, and Personal Injury Lawsuits
Situations which may give rise to a South Carolina police brutality or excessive force case include:
- You were unarmed when you were shot or beaten by police during an arrest
- You were beaten or choked by police officers while being restrained
- You were being arrested or ticketed for a minor offense, but the officer used a weapon or Taser gun on you to subdue you
- You were beaten by prison guards while awaiting a trial or waiting for your bond
- You were sexually abused by prison guards or police
The Strom Law Firm Fights to Protect Excessive Force Victims
The South Carolina civil litigation and personal injury attorneys at the Strom Law Firm will thoroughly investigate your excessive force claims. If you have been a victim of police brutality or excessive force, contact the Strom Law Firm for a free, confidential consultation on your case. 803.252.4800