DENVER — A Federal Court jury has awarded Philip White of Eagle/Vail $300,000 in punitive damages and $100,000 in compensatory damages, but the final total could be well over a half million dollars, in connection with a beating Denver Police gave the 77-year old blind man.
“Philip White missed his bus to the mountains, when he asked Greyhound staff for help in catching the next bus home, he was told by a security guard he was trespassing and had to leave the Greyhound Bus Depot,” said White’s attorney Mari Newman. “This is a Master’s Degree holder and long-time educator who was set upon with excessive force as police violated his civil rights, all over a bus ticket.”
White says when Officer Kyllion Chafin arrived at the depot, he didn’t care that White had actually called 911 seeking police help in the matter. Instead, White says he was “set-upon” by a security guard and the cop, when he asked the officer if he could “see” his badge, by touching it.
“He told me ‘You aren’t touching me,’” said White.
The cop grabbed his arms, forcing them behind him, then cuffed him so tightly he suffered nerve damage in his fingers — or eyes, for him. He was then slammed into the ticket counter leaving his head bleeding.
When Sgt. Bob Wykoff arrived, instead of trying to defuse the situation and offer the blind man help, without reading White his Miranda Rights, he began to video tape a bus station interrogation without White’s consent.
“I thought they would have killed me if they thought they could get away with it,” said White. “I always trusted cops, but now my confidence in them is shaken. I felt so bad I wanted to leave the USA.”
Newman says, “If Denver would use all the monies being paid out for illegal actions by police and sheriff’s deputies for better training, they could avoid huge lawsuits such as this one. But, for some reason instead of insuring officers really serve and protect, what citizens are left with is cops who manhandle and brutalize.”