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Denver Ex-Cop Says He Was Fired for Refusing to Destroy Video Evidence of Abuse of Inmate

The experience of Brent Miller proves that "honest cops" don't last long in corrupt police departments. (Photo from CBS)
The experience of Brent Miller proves that "honest cops" don't last long in corrupt police departments. (Photo from CBS)

By Brian Maass
CBS4 has learned that an internal investigation is underway into the interim head of the Denver Sheriff Department, Elias Diggins, and the captain in charge of the Denver Sheriff’s Internal Affairs Bureau after an internal affairs investigator blew the whistle, saying he was ordered to destroy a videotape that showed an inmate being humiliated and degraded.


Miller said he was assigned to investigate several complaints filed by jail inmate Christopher Colbruno. Earlier this month, he was assigned yet another case involving Colbruno. Sheriff’s deputies were transporting Colbruno to Denver Health Medical Center for medical attention, but at some point Colbruno defecated on himself and his jail clothing. Before entering the hospital , deputies removed Colbruno’s clothing and walked him through hospital hallways wearing only handcuffs, but no clothing.

Personnel at Denver Health Medical Center felt the inmate had been subjected to inhumane and degrading treatment by being forced to walk nude through the hospital hallways so they filed a complaint with the Denver Sheriff Department. The complaint was assigned to Miller. On May 11, Miller and a second investigator traveled to Denver Health Medical Center to obtain a copy of hospital videotape showing Colbruno in the hospital.

When he returned to his office with the tape, Miller said he was approached by Captain Paul Ortega, who leads the Sheriff Department’s internal affairs bureau.

“He asked me if I had uploaded this video yet and I told him I had not and told me,’good, don’t do that because they’re making that go away, it’s not going to be a case anymore.’”

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