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Documents detail Denver jail inmate-abuse claims

By: The Denver Post/Associated Press
June 13, 2014 Updated: June 13, 2014 at 6:29 pm
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DENVER (AP) — Newly released court documents include graphic details of allegations that a Denver sheriff's deputy was drunk on the job, allowed jail inmates to beat up other inmates and supplied them with pornography and marijuana.

The documents were released Thursday in connection with a federal civil rights lawsuit filed by former inmate Jamal Hunter, who alleges the deputy, Gaynel Rumer, encouraged other inmates to brutally beat him in July 2011 and did nothing to stop them.

Rumer's attorney has said the deputy denies the allegations.

The Denver Post reported Friday (http://tinyurl.com/pu8z5n5) that U.S. District Judge John Kane, who is hearing Hunter's lawsuit, released the documents over the objections of Denver city officials.

Kane has asked federal prosecutors to investigate whether Denver police illegally tried to intimidate a key witness in the lawsuit, former jail inmate Amos Page. The U.S. attorney's office has not said if it would.

In an affidavit filed with Hunter's lawsuit, Page corroborated Hunter's allegation that other inmates punched Hunter, tied him up and burned his genitals with hot water. Hunter has said he was attacked after he was accused of snitching.

Page's affidavit said Rumer knew about the beating in advance. It also said Rumer turned off the lights so the surveillance cameras couldn't record the attack and that Rumer ignored Hunter's screams.

Afterward, Rumer motioned for Page to clean up Hunter's blood from the wall and floor of Page's cell, the affidavit said.

Page said in the affidavit that Rumer was often drunk at work. Page alleged he caught Rumer with a container of vodka in October 2010, and "after that, we went into business together."

Page said Rumer sometimes brought marijuana and pornography to the jail for Page to sell.

The affidavit said Rumer let Page run a six-cell unit at the jail. "I had total control over Rumer," Page said.

Last week, Kane asked prosecutors to investigate Denver police involvement in the investigation after he listened to a recording of two officers interviewing Page about his affidavit.

The judge said the conversation showed a "deliberate process of intimidation."

Police Chief Robert White said he is confident the officers did nothing wrong.

A transcript of the interview was among the documents released Thursday. At least six times in the 48-page transcript the officers suggested Page had implicated himself in Hunter's beating.

"If you say this or more than this on the federal stand, you're subjecting yourself to a criminal — a felony criminal charge for what happened to Jamal (Hunter)...." one officer said, according to the transcript.

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