Two Denver sheriff’s deputies involved in excessive-force cases fired

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DENVER -- Two Denver Sheriff's Department deputies involved in excessive-force cases against inmates have been fired by the Department of Safety, it was announced Tuesday.

Deputy Thomas Ford was fired for his assault on Jamal Hunter in 2011. In a statement, the Department of Safety said Keller showed "willful disregard of the guiding principles to provide for the care, safety, and security of inmates. His egregious misconduct is unacceptable and unbefitting the title of Deputy Sheriff."

RELATED: Thomas Ford Termination Letter

Deputy Edward Keller was fired over a separate incident in which he used inappropriate force against an inmate.

The Department of Safety said Ford "struck the inmate in the face with a closed fist at a time when he posed no credible threat and subsequently kicked the inmate while he was on the ground. Deputy Ford’s conduct was found to violate the Department’s use of force policy in several respects."

RELATED: Edward Keller Termination Letter

“This administration takes incidents of inappropriate use of force very serious,” Executive Director of Safety Stephanie O’Malley said. “We expect deputies to abide by departmental use of force policies and to treat inmates with dignity and respect. Any deputy that endangers the well-being of an inmate and dishonors his or her duty to abide by department guiding principles or engages in misconduct substantially contrary to the standards of conduct reasonably expected of one whose sworn duty is to uphold the law, can no longer be a part of the agency.

"As such, I have ordered the termination of Deputy Ford and Deputy Keller for their respective inappropriate use of force actions and disregard of departmental practices and procedures."

Last month, the Denver City Council agreed to a $3.25 million settlement with Hunter while also calling for an independent review of the sheriff’s department.

Keller and Ford can appeal the firings to the Career Service Authority.

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