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City of Denver approves $100K settlement for racial profiling incident

Denver, CO – The Denver City Council recently agreed to pay $100,000 to a black driver who was the victim of a racial profiling incident back in 2020. The incident took place on April 17, 2020, when Keilon Hill (who was 25 at the time) was involved in a fender bender on Interstate 25. Mr. Hill called 911 as required by law and the police and paramedics arrived at the scene shortly.

The young man was shocked to hear one of the officers let out a torrent of expletives, calling Hill ‘a turd’ right from the start. What followed was even more shocking – the police searched his car on the pretext it smelled of marijuana. When Hill asked why they were searching his vehicle, Hill was handcuffed and taken to the station, where he remained for the next 24 hours. Officially, he was accused of interfering with police activity, a charge that was later dropped.

Racial profiling is one of the most common types of police misconduct in Denver. People of color regularly complain of being stopped and searched without proper reason. If you’re ever involved in this type of interaction with local law enforcement, you must contact an experienced police misconduct lawyer in Denver right away. Trying to deal with the problem on your own won’t get you anywhere, as Mr.Hill’s story proves.

What to do if you’re the victim of a racial profiling incident in Denver?

The first step is to file a complaint with the police department the officers work for. Under the law, your complaint will be investigated by the Internal Affairs Bureau. This means cops will be examining the activity of their fellow cops. In most cases, the Internal Affairs Bureau will conclude the police officers did nothing wrong and toss out your complaint. The officer that called Mr.Hill a turd was referred to counseling and reminded not to use inappropriate language. No one was disciplined for the illegal search of the car or the man’s arrest.

Such cases are often reviewed by the District Attorney’s office to determine whether they should press charges or not. Most of the time, the DA’s office decides not to pursue charges against the police officers accused of misconduct. 

Without a seasoned lawyer by your side, there’s nothing more you can do. They win.

Mr. Hill chose to fight for his constitutional rights and filed a racial profiling lawsuit against the officers involved in the incident.

To prove racial profiling, your lawyers can use body cam footage and eyewitnesses’ statements as evidence. Your lawyers will also examine the officer’s record to see whether they have been accused of similar acts in the past. This can be used to show there’s a pattern of racial prejudice in the officer’s activity. At the same time, such a thing puts the whole department and, ultimately, the city council under the spotlight, as monitoring the officers’ activity and providing adequate training is their responsibility. 

If your lawyers build a solid case, you won’t have to go to trial. Most such cases are settled out of court. 

If you were recently a victim of any type of police misconduct in Denver, you should contact an experienced civil rights lawyer at the Bryan&Terrill law firm to see how to proceed with your case.

Contact info:

Bryan & Terrill

333 W. Hampden Ave., #420B

Englewood, CO 80110

(720) 923-2333

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