Denver Police's vicious beating of 16-year-old Juan Vasquez in 2008 that left him with a damaged liver and kidney was called "run of the mill" by former safety manager Al LaCabe, according to The Denver Post. LaCabe told a hearing panel of the Civil Service Commission that the roughing up of suspects is acceptable in police culture.
Police union president Nick Rogers called LaCabe's statements baseless and that he knows nothing about Denver police culture.
LaCabe made these statements at Det. Charles Porter's appeal of his firing for the beating of Vasquez in which he allegedly jumped on the teen's back while he lay on the ground causing serious injury, 9News reports. Porter is one of three police officers accused in the beating and although a jury acquitted Det. Charles Porter, LaCabe decided all three officers involved were guilty and lied about the incident.
7News reports that LaCabe also told the Commission that it's a minority of officers that actually get violent, but other officers rarely report it when they witness those that do.
Denver police have faced increased attention for alleged brutality, just this last August, the city of Denver paid out over $1 million in police brutality settlements.
The police's treatment of Occupy Denver protesters in multiple violent clashes at Civic Center Park has garnered DPD some criticism as well. Some of the police tactics are even being called into question in a lawsuit filed on behalf of Occupy Denver by David Lane who says First Amendment rights may have been violated.