Friday, May 09, 2008

Officer Charles Porter Beats Boy Severely

Officer Charles Porter, a 12-year veteran of the Denver Police Department was arrested Thursday on a felony charge of second degree assault after using excessive force against a 16-year-old boy.

The teenager, Juan "Willie" Vasquez suffered a lacerated liver, broken ribs, kidney injuries and still has a tube in his back.

He has also had two surgeries. A Denver Health physician said Vasquez sustained, "serious bodily injury to his internal organs."

Vasquez claims when he was lying on the ground, an officer stood on his back and jumped up an down three to five times causing him pain.

Lt. Ronald Saunier said that an investigation into the excessive-force case is ongoing and that a decision on formal charges is not expected from the Denver district attorney's office until later this week.

The Denver chapter of the Latino Peace Officers Association, which is composed of more than 80 Denver police officers, has asked Police Chief Gerry Whitman to turn the case over to the FBI for investigation of possible civil-rights violations.

Porter, who has declined comment, has had a past discipline issue.

Safety Manager Al LaCabe last year suspended Porter for 30 days without pay for failing to notify police dispatchers that his partner had shot a suspect on March 29, 2007. A police supervisor eventually made the proper notifications in that case.

Independent monitor Richard Rosenthal, who oversees police internal investigations, had pushed for a harsher penalty for the failure to notify dispatch of the shooting.

In a report on the incident, Rosenthal, without naming Porter, said he thought a harsher penalty of a 60-day suspension was warranted, in part, because Porter originally made a misleading statement to the dispatcher that he and his partner were investigating a one-car crash even after the shots had been fired.

"The officer was deceptive in his communication with dispatch, incomplete in his communication with his supervisor and, as such, put numerous lives in danger," Rosenthal wrote in the report. "In addition, his actions had a negative impact on the integrity of a well- thought out and long-standing officer-involved shooting investigation protocol."

For the recent assault allegations, Porter was booked by the Denver Sheriff Department and posted bond Thursday.