3 officers resign over allegations of excessive force

4:27 PM, Sep 2, 2010   |    comments
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The Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office is conducting a criminal investigation into the matter, according to Sheriff Grayson Robinson. The sheriff's office will refer its findings to the Jefferson County District Attorney's office when the investigation is finished.

Officials with the Arvada Police Department are not releasing details about the incident in question because it is still under investigation. The two officers who did not resign are on paid administrative leave, according to the city. All five of the officers are still under investigation.

It involves a case of alleged excessive force in January where an officer struck a suspect. There is an allegation that one or more of the other officers witnesses the incident and failed to report it. 9Wants to Know has learned the other officers allegedly lied about it on their reports or omitted it altogether.

"The Arvada Police Department will not tolerate excessive use of force, untruthfulness, or any other actions of inappropriate conduct. If the investigations find violations did occur, I will take the necessary action to assure the community of our commitment to fair, legal, and impartial law enforcement, and to ensure our officers continue to respond to the needs of our citizens with the highest degree of integrity and professionalism," Arvada Police Chief Don Wick said in a statement.

Wick called Robinson last Thursday, Aug. 26, and asked him to investigate while the city does its own internal investigation to see if the officers broke any administrative rules, policies or procedures.

"I didn't even question it when Chief Wick told me he thought he had a conflict of interest. That was good enough for me, I went ahead and complied with his request," Robinson said. "With people like Don Wick, I don't need to ask for details. If he says it's so, it's so in my mind."

Robinson assigned a sergeant and an investigator to the case on the morning of Aug. 26 and they were at the Arvada Police Department asking questions that evening.

City council members, who were told about the incident by 9NEWS Thursday afternoon, say they hope it is not the same kind of alleged excessive force like the incident caught on video in Denver on April 4, 2009. In that case, Officer Devin Sparks and Randy Murr are accused of using excessive force when they arrested Michael DeHerrera and Shawn Johnson.

"I certainly hope it's not anything like that. I would be very unhappy," Mayor Pro Tem Bob Dyer said. "I've always felt that Arvada Police are of the highest quality and would be sorely disappointed if it was any like what [allegedly] happened in Denver."

Arvada has not released the names of any of the officers involved because there is still an ongoing criminal investigation.

Two other officers also resigned on Thursday, but those were separate, internal personnel matters.

If you have any information about this event or the people involved, please e-mail Investigative Reporter Deborah Sherman at Deborah.Sherman@9NEWS.com.

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