Former Denver deputy won’t work in law enforcement again after drag-racing incident

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DENVER (KDVR) — A former Denver sheriff’s deputy will never be able to work in law enforcement again after pleading guilty to reckless driving and official misconduct when he was involved in a drag-racing incident while transporting inmates last year.

James Grimes was pulled over in January 2020 for driving at least 100 miles per hour. Grimes and another deputy were transporting three inmates from the Bent County Jail to the Denver Jail when a Colorado State Police airplane spotted the van going 100 miles an hour in a construction zone where the post speed limit was 60 mph.

A 911 caller said two vehicles, a red Chevrolet Silverado and a Denver Sheriff’s van were engaged in a speeding contest on I-25 in Douglas County. Troopers soon pulled over both drivers and cited the driver of the Chevy Silverado with a DUI.

The trooper who pulled over the sheriff’s van said the driver, Grimes, told him he “had an inmate in the back who needed to urinate urgently” and denied he was racing the red Chevy.

Another sheriff’s deputy, Jason Martinez, was fired in June 2020 for his role in the incident. Martinez was in the passenger seat in the transport van being driven by Grimes.

Per a sentence order issued Monday, Grimes will need to surrender his Colorado peace officer standings and training (POST) certificate and cannot seek to re-certify at any point.

Grimes is also facing 18 months of probation, 100 hours of community service and nearly $1,500 in fines.

Grimes was also one of five deputies involved in the choking death of homeless inmate Marvin Booker in 2010. Booker, a homeless street preacher, died in jail following a struggle with officers after his arrest.

The homeless man had been arrested on drug charges. Booker died shortly after deputies shocked him with a Taser and then pinned him down. The city paid $6 million in a settlement with Booker’s family.

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