Shackled inmate seen being slammed into courtroom wall by Denver deputy files lawsuit

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DENVER -- The attorney for Anthony Waller, the shackled inmate who was seen on surveillance cameras being slammed into a wall by a Denver Sheriff's deputy during a hearing before a judge in 2012, has filed a lawsuit over the incident.

The lawsuit in U.S. District Court names the city and county of Denver, Deputy Brad Lovingier, Capt. Gina McCall and the Denver Sheriff's Department.

A news release sent by attorney Kenneth Padilla on Wednesday says Waller was "shackled in handcuffs, leg irons, and belly chain" when Lovingier "without provocation, grabbed Mr. Waller by his shackles, spun him around and violently slammed him into a large glass window and metal post. Waller collapsed onto the ground, sustaining serious injury."

Waller was facing domestic violence charges on Sept. 11, 2012, and in the courtroom's surveillance video, he could be heard asking the judge, “The investigation should come first and then the arrest?”

He then looks back, and then Lovingier is seen grabbing Waller by the waist and slamming him head first into a wall. Waller fell to the ground and was then dragged out of the courtroom into a holding cell.

In the video, Lovingier can be heard saying “You don’t turn on me.”

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Judge Doris Burd filed an internal affairs complaint with the Denver County Sheriff, but the Denver District Attorney’s office declined to prosecute the deputy. Lovingier was suspended 30 days and according to his disciplinary case file, a witness called the deputy's actions “a little excessive.”

Lovingier, a 12-year veteran of the department and the son of former Sheriff William Lovingier, appealed the suspension, but it was upheld by the Career Service Board.

Padilla is seeking "substantial monetary damages" and wants an injunction to have the U.S. District Court supervise the Sheriff's Department's operation of the Denver City Jail.

The Waller incident is part of a large department scandal that led to Sheriff Gary Wilson resigning earlier this month. On Monday, the Denver City Council gave preliminary approval to a $3.25 million deal in former jail inmate Jamal Hunter's lawsuit that revealed a series of scandals. It would be the largest settlement the city has ever agreed to pay.

Another video this month shows Deputy Thomas Ford slugging an inmate in the face and apparently kicking him. Ford and Officer William Lewis were put on paid leave pending the investigation.

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