After nearly a year and a half after the incident took place, a vicious attack by a deputy police officer on a severely restrained man in a Denver courtroom has finally surfaced for public view. The disturbing unchecked unchecked brutality displayed by Deputy Sheriff Brady Lovingier in this 3 minute video footage is sparking questions as to why it took so long for any disciplinary action to be brought against the officer. And even more importantly, why did the Judge in whose courtroom all of this took place casually watch with indifference as a helpless inmate was savagely beaten before her very eyes?
It was September 11, 2012 when an inmate named Anthony Waller appeared in the courtroom of Judge Doris Burd accompanied by three or four officers of the Denver, Colorado “Safety” Department. Waller, who was severely shackled and restrained by “handcuffs, leg irons, a belly chain and black box”, was listening intently to Judge Burd read the accusations made against him which allegedly led to his being arrested and placed in chains. Before being dismissed, however, Waller said in a very respectful tone that he had an objection to make. “Ah, yes ma’am, I’d like to object first. If I’m under investigation, I thought the investigation came first and then the arrest came,” said Waller. But apparently allowing an inmate the dignity of possessing knowledge of the legal processes they’ve been caught up in is a step too far for Brady Lovingier, the Denver Safety Department‘s Deputy Sheriff, who immediately responded to this inquiry by violently grabbing Waller by the chains strapped around his stomach then slamming his head mercilessly into a nearby glass window. Waller, who was restrained and couldn’t move, immediately fell to the ground. Lovingier had no sympathy, however, and responded by incessantly kicking his victim in the gun right before he dragged him across the floor and into the next room by his leg shackles. The brutal scene that followed could be seen through the same window Waller had just had his head slammed into. Lovingier could be heard shouting over and over again at Waller, “Get on your feet! Don’t turn on me. Get on your feet!!” At one point Lovingier is even heard referring to Anthony Waller, a middle-aged African American man, as a “boy”. In the words of Waller’s lawyer Ken Padilla, “If a deputy sheriff thinks he can get away with viciously attacking a middle-aged Black man and calling him ‘a boy’ appearing in court, you can only imagine what happens to men and women in custody in the confines of the Denver city and county jails.”
The entire time that this was playing out, Judge Burd and the court clerk were simply sitting quietly and watching with indifference. The Judge’s only comment came minutes into the brutal assault when she casually remarked, “Oh, lah, lah.” Indeed, it’s tragically ironic how Judge Burd does not hesitate for a moment to keep Anthony Waller contained in a jail cell based solely on an accusation of having assaulted a woman earlier at a Colfax motel, yet doesn’t even seem to flinch when a law officer severely beats a restrained prisoner right in front of her face! It says an awful lot about exactly who the law is meant to work for and who it isn’t.
Judge Doris Burd waited all the way until September of 2013, an entire year after the beating occurred, to suggest even the slightest amount of “discipline” for Brady Lovingier’s horrific actions, finally filing a minor “grievance” against him. The skeptic in me is tempted to wonder if maybe word had somehow reached her that the court’s video footage would soon leak to the press, prompting her to make it appear as if she acted swiftly in order to save face. The result of her “grievance” was a so-called internal affairs “investigation” carried out by the Denver safety department. To the investigators, deputy sheriff Brady Lovingier stated that, in contrast to the indisputable visual evidence, “it appeared Mr. Waller tripped up on his leg irons when I turned him to regain control and leave the courtroom… It is also apparent to me that the trip accelerated our momentum toward the glass, which is why we got there so fast and appeared harder than I would have anticipated.” And on another occasion he claimed that as he and Waller hit the floor “Waller dropped his weight and he went to the floor.” Of course this doesn’t explain why he felt the need to proceed to drop-kick the man repeatedly and drag him around the floor by his chains. Even the internal investigators’ own report had to concede that “Waller posed no threat to [Lovingier] or anyone else.”
According to The Colorado Independent, the Denver Safety Department has a long history of “jailing innocent people in cases of missing identity” and has regularly “incarcerated deaf inmates without offering sign language interpreters.” Given this history, it’s interesting to note that Anthony Waller was previously incarcerated for an astounding nineteen years for a sexual assault he’s always maintained he didn’t commit. On top of that, a prior independently-conducted investigation by the Independent Safety Monitor Nicholas Mitchell concluded that, among other things, the Denver “Safety” Department has consistently “failed to investigate serious misconduct, including ‘inappropriate force, non-consensual sexual touching and biased behavior by deputies‘” and has intentionally on numerous occasions “hindered inmates ability to lodge grievances.”
In the end though, Lovingier’s only penalty was a mere 30-day suspension from the safety force. Had the shoe been on the other foot, however, and it was Anthony Waller who so viciously attacked a restrained and defenseless Brady Lovingier, is there any real question that Waller would now be facing the death penalty by way of lethal injection? Waller, who is still locked behind bars, knew the answer to this question better than anybody else when he pointedly asked, “If he had killed me, would he have gotten 30 days? I was defenseless. I was addressing the judge, exercising my constitutional rights, and this is what I get? A savage beating?”