During winter solstice rush hour, Three (count'em) three militant anti-cop banners were dropped off a bridge faceing both ways on I-25 downtown. They read "DPD turn your weapons on yourselves","James Bradley was right" (in reference to the man recently shot and hospitalized for hitting a police cruiser with a hammer) and "FROM THE NILE TO THE PLATTE HIT A COP WITH A BASEBALL BAT!" They were seen by thounsands of motorists driving slowly on icy roads during rush hour traffic. And are rumored to have made several cops weep.
DENVER - A jury of three men and three women reached a verdict on the fate of a Denver Police officer who was videotaped slamming a man's head into the ground during an arrest outside of Coors Field last year on the Opening Day of the Colorado Rockies.
Cpl. Michael Cordova was found not guilty of the third-degree misdemeanor. Cordova, who was hired in 2001, will be able to continue working in law enforcement.
John Heaney, who was riding his bike past Coors Field on the way to see his mother in a nearby hospice, claims the under officers taunted and challenged him. Not knowing they were cops, Heaney says he tipped off Cordova's hat. After that, the 58-year-old man claims the officers pulled him off his bike, kicked, punched and beat him.
When he was lying on his stomach about to be handcuffed, video shows Cordova pulling Heaney's head up with his ponytail, then slamming his face into the ground.
The arrest was caught on videotape by a local sports production crew.
The jury began deliberating around 11 a.m. Tuesday morning, after hearing closing arguments. Cpl. Cordova did not take the stand in his own defense.
"We feel like we established enough facts to prove our case," Cordova's defense attorney Marc Colin said.
During the trial, Colin argued to jurors that the sound on the videotape and that witnesses say they heard was not the sound of Heaney's two front teeth breaking on the cement, but rather it was the sound of a baseball hitting a bat during batting practice outside of Coors Field.
The defense also called expert witnesses who said it looked like Heaney was resisting arrest on the videotape, and as a result, Cordova and other police officers were legally authorized to use force to take Heaney into custody.
"Cordova acted within the duties of a police officer and within the scope of his training," Colin told jurors.