DENVER (KDVR) — A Denver Sheriff’s Department Deputy will face a three-day suspension for inappropriate use of force, according to a discipline letter from the Department of Public Safety.
The incident happened on April 25, 2021, when Deputy Daniel Rodriguez was assisting in the intake process of an inmate.
According to the letter, the inmate became combative while deputies attempted to search him inside an intake cell at the Downtown Detention Center. The inmate tried to bite the deputies and dig his nails into the deputy who was holding his arm. He also ignored several commands from the deputies.
Rodriguez used a set of Orcutt Police Nunchaku, a special type of police nunchucks, to try and restrain the inmate because the inmate was not responding. Even then, the inmate continued to fight back with his upper and lower body against all deputies involved and even “lifted a deputy off the ground with his legs.”
“During the struggle drugs were found on the inmate. He had several baggies tied to his waistband,” according to accounts from the DSD investigation into the use of force.
Due to the inmate’s demeanor and mental state, as well as the drugs found on the inmate, a nurse was called and the nurse gave him Narcan because they believed the inmate was overdosing. The nurse also took the vitals of the inmate, and it was noted that his pupils had no reaction, so an ambulance was called.
According to records from Denver Health, the inmate tested positive for several drugs. The inmate also suffered a fractured wrist following the incident.
Rodriguez will serve the suspension for inappropriately using the nunchucks from Feb. 2 through Feb. 4., according to the Denver Department of Public Safety. If Rodriguez violates the department’s policy in a similar or worse fashion between now and Dec. 20, 2023, he will face a suspension for an additional week.
Following the incident, the Denver Department of Public Safety changed its policy so that sheriff’s deputies no longer carry police nunchucks.