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U.S. District Judge John L. Kane Threatens To Send U.S. Marshals To Retrieve Documents

First Posted: 10/24/11 03:08 PM ET Updated: 12/24/11 05:12 AM ET

A U.S. District Judge is losing patience with the City of Denver for their delays in handing over 300,000 pages of excessive force complaints against the Denver Police Department. Senior U.S. District Judge John L. Kane threatened on Friday to send the feds into the department's Internal Affairs Bureau if they don't hand over the documents soon.

The documents are being requested by Kane for use in an excessive force lawsuit so the plaintiff, John Moore, may show a pattern of police brutality in Denver.

Judge Kane originally ordered the documents in July, but to date just about 40,000 have been made available. Last month The Huffington Post reported that Judge Kane was threatening to fine the city $5,000 a day until it made progress producing the documents for a separate excessive force case with the same police officer, but that case was settled out of court for $225,000 according to the Denver Post.

Last Friday, Judge Kane reiterated his impatience with the city's delay in producing the documents, warning that he will not grant the city any exception to his order.

"We are demanding the city and county of Denver comply with the law like any other defendant," Senior U.S. District Judge John L. Kane is quoted in the Denver Post. "I once had the marshals seize all the records in the Internal Affairs Bureau, and if I have to do this again in this case, I will."

Denver Assistant City Attorney Thomas Bigler and Assistant Director of Litigation Karla Pierce told 9News that they are only slow to produce the documents because they have to redact all confidential information, including names, Social Security numbers, birth dates and more.

However Judge Kane has countered that that may not be a legitimate reason for the delay, since all of the documents will be sealed from the public anyway.

CORRECTION: A previous version of the article incorrectly stated that only about 4,000 documents had been made available by the City of Denver. So far over 40,000 documents have been prepared for plaintiff John Moore's legal counsel via flash drive.
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Filed by Andrea Rael  |