Brutal Denver Police Beating Caught on Tape
INSIDE EDITION talks to a young Denver man who was brutally beaten by police outside a nightclub. The police officer claimed the young man started the violence, but surveillance video seems to tell a different story.
It's shocking, just-released video as a guy who's doing nothing but talking on a cellphone is thrown to the ground and beaten senseless by a cop.
The vicious attack caught on tape by a police camera mounted on a lamppost is now sparking national outrage.
23-year-old Michael DeHerrera told INSIDE EDITION's Megan Alexander it happened outside a Denver nightclub in April, 2009, as police were arresting a friend who'd just been thrown out of the club.
"They took me down and once I was down he continued to hit me repeatedly," said DeHerrera.
INSIDE EDITION's Megan Alexander asked, "Had you been drinking?"
"Yeah, we had been drinking moderately, so I'd say we were drunk," said DeHerrera.
His friend, Sean Johnson, was pinned to the ground by three cops and you can see DeHerrera gesturing wildly on his cell phone.
"I'm pretty hysterical, so I call my dad because he's been a police officer for more than 22 years," said DeHerrera.
That's right, DeHerrera's dad is a deputy sheriff and the call woke up his parents from a sound sleep.
"I heard somebody say 'drop the phone' and then some obscenity and then they hit him," said DeHerrera's father.
One of the cops approached DeHerrera, and in the next instant socked him in the face with a metal club. The cop had claimed DeHerrera took a swing at him first, but the video disputes that.
"As you can see (on the video) I had my arm like this. There's no way I tried to swing," said DeHerrera.
Out cold, DeHerrara was dragged to a police car and arrested. The car door was even slammed on his leg. He woke up in the hospital with his face grotesquely swollen. Cuts and bruises everywhere.
"I have stitches here (pointing to his face) and several of my teeth were chipped," said DeHerrera.
DeHerrara's dad is outraged that fellow cops could do this to his son, saying, "My son has never hurt anybody. Never. He's never been in a physical altercation in his life, and for them to do this to him is outrageous."
When the Denver District Attorney saw the surveillance video, all charges against DeHerrera and his friend were dropped. Now an independent police watchdog group is calling on the cops to be fired, and DeHerrara's mom agrees.
"These were just bad men who shouldn't have a badge," said DeHerrera's mom.
And the man at the center of this brutal attack says what happened to him is as clear as the surveillance video.
"The facts are right there on tape for everyone to make their own decision. This is something wrong," said DeHerrera.
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