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Denver agrees to settle jail mistreatment case for $3.25 million

Denver will pay $3.25 million to former jail inmate beaten by other inmates and choked and Tasered by deputies
A $3.25-million settlement with a former jail inmate still must be approved by the Denver City Council

Denver is poised to pay $3.25 million to a former jail inmate who was allegedly tortured by other inmates, then captured on video being choked and shocked with a Taser by deputies.

The tentative agreement was announced Tuesday by Denver officials. It still has to be approved by the City Council. 

Plaintiff Jamal Hunter said that in summer 2011, while an inmate for misdemeanor assault charges, deputies turned a blind eye while he was severely beaten, which included having his genitals burned with scalding hot water by other inmates, said Qusair Mohamedbhai, Hunter’s attorney.

"We are committed to addressing the issues at hand now," City Atty. Scott Martinez said in a statement from the Denver mayor's office. "We will resolve any alleged inappropriate actions and make the changes necessary to raise the level of accountability." 

Hunter was in the hospital for 10 days before returning to the Denver jail, at which time he was captured on video being choked and shocked with a Taser by deputies in his cell.

Mohamedbhai told the Los Angeles Times he had no doubt the City Council would approve the settlement because evidence in the case would cast too negative a light on the city.

“If it went to trial, the amount [of damages] would be much larger,” he said.

None of the deputies shown in the video when Hunter was choked and shot with a Taser have been officially disciplined, Mohamedbhai said. A disciplinary panel recommended the deputy seen shocking Hunter be suspended for 30 days, the Denver Post reported. 

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