Judge rules in favor of firing 2 Denver officers in diner beating case

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DENVER — A Denver District Court ruled two Denver police officers should be fired for lying about an excessive use of force instance at the Denver Diner several years ago.

The two officers were suspended in 2009 for inappropriate use of force and lying about the incident. According to court documents, Officer Ricky Nixon was off-duty but in uniform when he responded to a report of an assault between two women at the Denver Diner.

Nixon reported the assault to dispatch and Officer Kevin Devine responded.

Both officers got into a physical confrontation with several women and used pepper spray on several of them. The fight was recorded on one of several police-run HALO cameras.

Nixon and Devine were fired for excessive use of force and lying to internal investigators about the need to use pepper spray.

The Civil Service Commission reinstated both officers but the city appealed the decision to the District Court.

Both officers have 10 days to appeal the ruling.

Earlier this week, the City Council approved $360,000 to settle a federal lawsuit brought by the women in the case.

“The court made a critical — and correct — decision. This ruling supports our hard work to make our police department more accountable to the people it serves. I am proud of our city attorneys and those in the manager of safety’s office who persisted in their pursuit of justice in this case,” Mayor Michael Hancock said in a statement Friday.

“It has been the city’s position that the video provided irrefutable proof not only of unnecessary uses of force by both officers, but also of their dishonesty in their reports and statements. Our team fought hard in this case to reinforce the fact that these actions will not be tolerated here in Denver,” City Attorney Doug Friednash said.

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