Denver deputy fired for using excessive force against inmate

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DENVER -- A deputy with the Denver Sheriff Department has been fired for using excessive force on an inmate.

Video of the incident was released Monday by the Denver Department of Public Safety.

Deputy Darrin Turner had been with the department for about 15 years, according to documents.

The documents say Turner got into an argument with two inmates at the Downtown Detention Center on Jan. 28, 2016.

Turner allegedly pushed one of the inmates "by shoving his left elbow into [the inmate's] back" as man was being transferred from a holding cell to the dress-out area.

The verbal argument escalated in the dress-out area, according to the documents, and the inmate called Turner a racial slur.

Turner allegedly took off his glasses and asked another deputy to hold them, saying, "I don't want them to get broken."

Surveillance video shows Turner slamming the inmate down on the property window ledge. Turner's left hand was wrapped around the inmate's neck.

Another deputy reaches across the ledge and gets his hands between the men, but Turner was able to use his right hand to hit the inmate in the face.

A third deputy "forcibly removed Deputy Turner from the situation," the records say.

On Jan. 4, the public safety department sent Turner an official termination letter.

RELATED: Deputy Darrin Turner termination letter

"Physical force will not be used as a punishment, under any circumstances," the termination letter said. "It is clear that your conduct has been unprofessional and in violation of the Department's policies and procedures."

The letter also said Turner never reported taking off his glasses, which officials said was a clear sign he intended to get into a fight.

The letter quotes Turner as saying the inmate called him a racial slur and he took the inmate out of the cell to "counsel [him] that we don't use that language."

Turner's case was forwarded to the Denver District Attorney's Office, but it declined to press charges. Turner plans to appeal the termination.

According to the documents, Turner was suspended for 13 days in 2012 for conduct prohibited by law and conduct prejudicial.

In 2011, he received two written reprimands, once for disobeying a lawful order and failure to perform duties, and once for soliciting preferential treatment and unauthorized use of equipment.

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