DENVER (KDVR) — A Boulder man is suing 15 Denver Police Department officers and Chief Paul Pazen for excessive force.
Mikey Jacobs, 25, said he was the victim of a sexual assault when he claims one officer rammed a 36-inch long baton up his anus on the night of July 29, 2020.
“They punched me in the face, he punched in my butt hole, he tried to sodomize me,” is what Jacobs can be heard screaming on police body camera video obtained by the Problem Solvers.
Jacobs was attending a protest at Lincoln Park across from the state Capitol, where homeless advocates were objecting to the sweep of a homeless camp. Protesters felt the homeless hadn’t been given adequate time to move on.
Bodycam from that night shows a team of SWAT officers running toward the fence where Jacobs was standing and tackling him to the ground.
“I was thrown to the ground, my helmet ripped off my head, my face struck several times, a baton used in ways that shouldn’t be ever used,” said Jacobs, who added he thought he was being mugged at first because police came from behind him and issued no verbal warning.
‘This is a way to hold the officers individually responsible’
“This was one of the most brutal acts of violence I’ve seen in my career,” said Benjamin DeGolia, a civil rights attorney with the Rathod Mohamedbhai law firm who represents Jacobs.
DeGolia said he named Chief Pazen in his lawsuit because he’s responsible for the training of his officers. In addition, DeGolia filed the lawsuit in state court instead of federal court — where most civil rights cases typically end up — because he wanted to take advantage of a new police accountability measure passed by Colorado lawmakers in 2020.
“This state law eliminated qualified immunity, which is a partial defense in cases involving constitutional violations,” said Jacobs, before adding, “This is a way to hold the officers individually responsible.”
At the time, Jacobs was charged with attempting to disarm a police officer, “all for it to later be dismissed because it was bogus to begin with. I believe it was a cover charge,” meaning to cover-up misconduct, Jacobs said.
A spokesperson for the City Attorney’s Office told FOX31 the City of Denver doesn’t comment on pending litigation, but a spokesperson for the Department of Public Safety confirmed four officers face an internal affairs investigation.
But both Jacobs and his attorney Ben DeGolia were critical of the city’s slow pace to complete its investigation that began in August 2020.
“This is the kind of corrupt misconduct we see from the Denver Police Department time and time again, ” DeGolia said.
“They don’t really feel like something egregious has happened here and wrongs need to be righted,” complained Jacobs, who suffered a torn rotator cuff in his shoulder and has been diagnosed with PTSD.