DENVER – Denver Police Officer James Medina has been fired after using inappropriate force with an incarcerated woman.
According to Chief Robert White, Medina used “inappropriate force” when he tried to remove the inmate’s belt and shoes. He put his knee on her neck, causing her to become unconscious.
White goes on to say Medina did not seek medical attention for the prisoner after she lost consciousness. For that, he was accused of violating his “duty to obey departmental rules and mayoral executive orders.”
Lastly, Medina reportedly was prejudicial in his conduct when he made “inappropriate and insensitive remarks to the prisoner.”
The inmate’s arrest started on July 10, 2014 when police responded to a call of an intoxicated man at the Burger King in the 3200 block of North Downing Street. When they arrived on the scene, Medina and another DPD officer encountered a man and his girlfriend, later identified as Seryina Trujillo.
Trujillo and her boyfriend were reportedly not allowing firefighters to help the drunk man. Trujillo was taken into custody, but as she was being walked to the police car, she “became angrier and spat on [the other officer’s] face.” Medina then reportedly grabbed Trujillo and put her in the back of the patrol car. At that point, she kicked Medina in the face.
“Officer Medina reacted by punching Ms. Trujillo in the face,” the departmental order of disciplinary action document says.
After being booked for second-degree assault on a police officer, interference and resisting, Medina started to prepare Trujillo for her holding cell. Normally, a second officer is present during this process to monitor the prisoner during the searches. However, there was not during this encounter.
According to Medina, Trujillo tried to “bite him several times” during the process. At that point, he put his right knee against Trujillo’s neck during the struggle.
The video shows Medina asking Trujillo to stop crying once she regained consciousness.