DENVER (AP) — Five Denver sheriff’s deputies followed the rules when they used a sleeper hold and stun gun to restrain a homeless street preacher who died in the downtown jail, a defense attorney said Monday.
The comments by Denver attorney Thomas Rice came during opening statements in a federal civil trial involving the deputies accused of using excessive force in connection with the death of Marvin Booker.
Surveillance footage played in court shows three officers wrestling Booker onto chairs then down to the floor before two others join the scuffle. One puts his arm around Booker’s neck for about three minutes. Officials said at the time that a deputy warned Booker to stop resisting.
An autopsy report said deputies had their body weight on Booker’s back for four minutes while he was face-down on the floor.
The video also shows deputies carrying Booker’s limp body to an isolation cell after one of them stunned him for at least eight seconds.
Newman said deputies showed no concern for Booker’s health after the incident and should have summoned medical care sooner.
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