3 Denver officers cleared in Alex Landau 2009 beating

DENVER — Three Denver police officers were cleared of any wrongdoing by a department investigation into the 2009 arrest of Alex Landrau that left him with severe injuries, the city said Friday.

Landrau was pulled over for making an illegal left-hand turn in January 2009. He was involved in a struggle with the three officers that left him with severe injuries, photos of which enraged the community.

Investigations by the Justice Department, Denver police, the District Attorney’s office and Denver’s independent monitor all recommended no action be taken against the officers.

A federal lawsuit against the city filed by Landau alleged Cpl. Randy Murr and officers Ricky Nixon and Tiffany Middleton hit Landau with their fists, flashlights and a radio. They also called him a racial epithet, reported the Denver Post.

The city settled with Landau for $795,000 in 2011. The settlement is the second-largest in the city’s history.

“There is insufficient evidence to sustain any allegations of inappropriate force, racial slurs or deceptive conduct,” a city spokesperson wrote.  “Other than reprimands by the Chief of Police for failure to make complete reports, no disciplinary action is taken against any of the involved officers.”

The American Civil Liberties Union criticized the decision.

“This decision will do nothing to restore the public’s broken faith in Denver’s ability to hold police accountable for egregious misconduct,” said ACLU spokeswoman Jenny Davies-Schley.  “The public will find it hard to believe that police did not engage in excessive force in light of Alex Landau’s serious injuries and the $800,000 settlement that Denver has already paid in compensation.”