DemocracyNow! host Amy Goodman in Denver this morning spoke with New Covenant Christian Church Pastor Reginald Holmes and Colorado Independent Editor Susan Greene on the historic verdict handed down on Tuesday against the city of Denver, which found sheriff deputies at the city jail used excessive force that resulted in the death of homeless street preacher Marvin Booker in 2010.
The city fought the case to the end, despite a trove of evidence, including jailhouse security video, that documented in detail the abuse that led to Booker’s death and the attempts by deputies involved to cover up that abuse.
Greene told Goodman that the sheriffs killed the wrong man. She noted how the city lawyers tried to smear Booker as a dangerous addict and vagrant, to portray him for the jurors as the same toss-away person the deputies clearly took him for when they piled atop him, choked him, Tased him and left him lying on his stomach, hands cuffed behind his back, to slowly slip into death. Greene said Booker was not that toss-away man. He was a beloved figure in the Denver community, a member of a prominent southern family of preachers, a man who had chosen a different and remarkable path. The federal court jurors came to their own similar assessment and on Tuesday awarded Booker’s family $4.6 million.
Supporters rallied on the city jail steps after the verdict was announced, vowing to work to make the Booker case the beginning of an end to the culture of authority in Denver where anyone ever can be treated as toss-away.
Note: The interview will also broadcast on KGNU, Friday at 3:30.