DENVER, CO. – A Denver sergeant with the Denver Police Department (DPD) is facing an assault charge for his on-duty beating of a teen in August. Investigators say the sergeant struck a teenage suspect several times with a metal police baton, leaving him with fractures to his leg and a broken nose.
According to 9News:
Sgt. Joseph Rodarte was arrested for investigation of second-degree assault on Thursday. The use of force incident that prompted the charges happened while he was on-duty on Aug. 22, according to a news release from the Denver Police Department.
Sgt. Rodarte has been suspended without pay pending the outcome of the criminal case. Rodarte is a known violent cop with a history of disciplinary issues with the department. Last year, the Denver sergeant had three instances that led to him being suspended.
The Denver sergeant was previously disciplined for an incident in November 2017. According to Denver Public Safety documents, Rodarte was the supervisor on scene when a different officer subdued a suspect with a Taser.
“In his report, Sergeant Rodarte indicated that he found [the officer’s] actions in tasing the suspect ‘reasonable under state law considerations’ even though the suspect posed no threat to anyone, was not engaged in ‘active aggression’ and thus, under departmental policy, should not have been tased. Moreover, Sergeant Rodarte did not recommend further investigation to determine if DPD’s Use of Force policy was violated,” the report reads.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock stated that he is deeply concerned with the circumstances surrounding the disgraced cop. The mayor said he is reaching out to the teen’s family.
“Our city takes all incidents of alleged police misconduct very seriously,” Hancock’s statement reads. “I, along with the Department of Safety and the Denver Police Department, are committed to cooperating fully with the District Attorney’s Office in its investigation. This is a matter of significant public concern and I am monitoring all developments closely.”
“Per standard protocol, the Denver Police Internal Affairs Bureau conducted a Use of Force review, and after consulting the Denver District Attorney’s Office, the Department made the decision to arrest the officer,” DPD said.