Officer Shawn Miller

In Denver, Colorado, justice has finally been served — and to the tune of a $860,000 settlement. This time, a courtroom full of people agreed that a police officer was at fault.

It’s a case that’s spent seven years weaving in and out of legal procedures, but, like the vast majority of cases (80 to 92%), it was settled outside of trial. In 2008, James D. Moore, a disabled veteran, was standing outside his apartment with a girlfriend when two Denver police officers arrived on a noise complaint.

According to the Denver Post and testimony, one of the officers, Shawn Miller, commanded Moore to take his hands out of his pockets the moment they arrived even though Moore claims his hands were not there in the first place. Miller’s response was to tackle Moore to the ground, hog-tie him, and repeatedly strike him on the head. His attorney, David Lane, told the Denver Post, that he was almost beaten to death, characterizing Miller as the “poster child” for everything wrong with the department.

“(The officers) beat Mr. Moore with such brutality while he was helpless on the ground that he lost consciousness, his heart stopped beating and paramedics or law enforcement officers had to administer CPR to save his life,” the suit states.

The officer in question is not new to this type of conduct either. Miller has been the subject of 39 different Internal Affairs investigations, 15 of which were from excessive-force complaints. This was the first inappropriate force case that actually stuck to him though. Early reports indicate Millers employment and rank status with the force will remained unchanged.

The city will wind up footing the bill of another cop-gone-crazy case as they will pay $775,000 directly to Moore and $85,000 to his attorney, David Lane. How he will receive this settlement is still undetermined at the time of writing.

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