Six years after unprovoked beating, Denver cop finally fired

Originally published at:


Fired after being re-hired. Oh what a terrible price to pay… for assault and battery.

The law in Colorado (emphasis mine)

First degree assault occurs when a person intentionally causes serious bodily injury, often by use or threat of use of a deadly weapon, and often against a peace officer or other protected employee in the performance of his or her duties. When considered a crime of passion, it is charged as a Class 5 felony. Otherwise, it is considered a Class 3 felony. In Colorado, first degree assault is a crime of violence, meaning that the judge must sentence the defendant to a term of incarceration of at least the midpoint in, but not more than twice the maximum of, the presumptive range provided.
(Colo. Rev. Stat. §§ 18-3-202, 18-1.3-401, 18-1.3-406.)

Odd, but I don’t see ‘unless the attacker is a cop’ anywhere in there.


Still meaningless unless their law enforcement certifications are revoked.

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You don’t? I do. It’s in white, in between the little black squiggles.

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It’s simple, really. In a democratic society, authority is fundamentally based on trust. Coercion, however justified in some cases, is fundamentally undemocratic, and totally distinct from authority. That’s why its use must be limited to what is strictly necessary. But you can’t achieve that if the bodies that are granted the power to use it can’t be trusted by the general population to use it in a proper manner. And the only way to preserve trust, in that case, is accountability. And I’m in the impression, by the stories I read here, that there are a worrying number of failures in accountability in the USA. Not that I say that my country (France) hasn’t got its flaws on that respect.

And if you don’t believe me about the ties between authority and trust, here’s an example: you’re driving down the street, and a man* in a uniform makes you stop. He* tells you you can’t go further because there’s been, say, a chemical incident, or a gas leak, or something.
Now think about it: will your emotional reaction be the same if it’s a cop or a fireman who tell you that? Most likely, you’ll comply in both cases. But the difference is, a cop can coerce you. A fireman can’t. You’ll probably comply more gladly if it’s a fireman. Because you trust firemen. Therefore, firemen have more authority than cops: they don’t need coercion.

  • I’m assuming male because it’s still the majority. I tried to tweak my post to make it gender-neutral, until I realized that I’d probably put more trust, and therefore grant more authority, to a female cop than to a male one. Call this prejudice or an aknowledgement of gendered education, your choice.

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