Denver to pay $47,000 in settlement with woman in lawsuit against police

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DENVER — The Denver City Council approved a $47,000 settlement to a woman in a lawsuit against police to avoid going to court.

The money will be paid out to Linda McGee, who suffered a broken wrist during the incident.

Officers were looking for a man near McGee’s neighborhood. An officer approached her nephew, Dakota Randall, thinking he was the person they were looking for.

In cellphone video provided by McGee’s attorney, Randall explains to the officer that he is not the suspect being sought.

When the officer tries to arrest him, Randall runs to McGee’s house.

“We heard Dakota say, ‘Help, help, save me.’ So my husband got up and went to the door. As we opened the door, police were there with their guns drawn,” McGee said.

In the scuffle that ensued, McGee said officers tried to take Randall’s girlfriend’s phone as she was recording the incident.

Then, McGee said an officer approached her, grabbed her arm and twisted it behind her. McGee said she immediately felt pain.

“It hurt so bad,” McGee said. “I still have pain and it’s still swollen.”

Later, she said she was criticizing officers for their handling of the situation. She said that’s when an officer got in her face.

“I was afraid that I could be really injured if I would have said anything to him,” McGee said.

Doctors told McGee her wrist will never be the same. McGee said it’s hard to fathom living with the pain considering the incident could have easily been avoided because police had misidentified her nephew.

“I get emotional now. I do. I really do. Because I always obey the law and for them to do that to me, I felt horrible. I still feel that way. I still feel afraid,” said McGee.

McGee grew up in Denver, raised her family here and worked for years for the city. She said she’s always been a law-abiding citizen and the incident has scarred her.

“It’s hard to live your life,” McGee said. “It’s hard to deal with it mentally that it happened to me here.”

The settlement comes on the heels of other big payouts the city has agreed to this year.

The city announced last week it would pay $999,999 to Jessica Hernandez’s family.

Police were trying to arrest the teen for driving a stolen car and said say she tried to run officers over, prompting them to shoot and kill her. The Denver Police Department has since changed its policy on firing into moving vehicles.

In January, the city agreed to pay $1.8 million to Daniel Martinez’s family.

Police kicked in the family’s door, expecting to find drug dealers and prostitutes. Four officers roughed up Daniel Martinez and his three sons — the youngest just 16 years old — after charging into the home.

The criminals police were after had moved out of the home a month earlier.

So far this year, the city has paid $1,659,750 in settlements, including the money to Hernandez’s family.

“There are always more cases than you see,” said McGee’s attorney, Raymond Bryant, with Civil Rights Litigation Group. “This is just the tip of the iceberg.”

“The Denver Police Department takes complaints against officers very seriously and this incident was thoroughly investigated by our Internal Affairs Bureau, the Department of Safety and the Office of the Independent Monitor, and the disciplinary process regarding violations was carried out in accordance with departmental policy,” police said in a statement.

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