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Denver Officer Faces 2nd Racial Profiling Settlement

City Council Considers $24K Settlement Monday Night

Alan Gathright, 7NEWS Content Producer

POSTED: 11:42 am MDT October 11, 2010
UPDATED: 11:58 am MDT October 11, 2010

DENVER — The Denver City Council will decide Monday night whether to pay a $24,000 racial profiling settlement that involves a police sergeant who was previously involved in a $75,000 racial profiling settlement in 2004.

During the 2004 racial profiling lawsuit, attorneys found then-police Officer Perry Speelman was the subject of 17 internal affairs investigations involving complaints of "unnecessary force" and "discourtesy" over the prior 10 years, according to the current lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.

How did Denver Police Department supervisors respond to repeated allegations of misconduct by Speelman?

They promoted him to sergeant, the ACLU noted in the lawsuit.

Now the city council is considering a $24,000 settlement stemming from a lawsuit filed on April 14 by two African American men who accuse Speelman, two other officers and the department of racial profiling during a February 2009 traffic stop.

Ashford Wortham and Cornelius Campbell were pulled over by police on Feb. 13, 2009, and cited for failure to wear a seat belt, failure to come to a complete stop before turning at a red light and failure to sign an insurance card.

Denver County Court Judge Aileen Ortiz-White dismissed all three charges against the men on June 26, 2009, ruling that officers had no probable cause to stop them, the lawsuit said.

The judge also found that “police conduct was extreme, profane and racially motivated,” and that the Wortham and Campbell were “unlawfully detained for an unreasonable time," the lawsuit said.

The judge specifically noted in an order that Speelman’s “credibility was seriously questioned based on his testimony about the location of the stop and details of the stop.”

(Read the ACLU Internal Affairs Lawsuit.)

Previous Stories: ACLU Sues Denver Relating To Racial Profiling Case


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