Denver’s police union is supporting a possible Department of Justice investigation of police policies and practices, saying officers have nothing to fear, reports the Rocky Mountain News. The request comes after last month’s officer-involved shooting death of Frank Lobato. Union president Mike Mosco said the decision was made last Friday at a meeting attended by about 80 of the 1,400-member association.
Last month, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said it will review Lobato’s fatal shooting, though no decision has been made on whether it would launch a wider probe of the department. On July 11, officer Ranjan Ford Jr. was attempting to arrest a domestic violence suspect in the apartment were Lobato lived. Lobato, a 63-year-old invalid, was in a bedroom when Ford possibly mistook a soda can in the man’s hand for a weapon and fired a shot. In mid-July the Colorado U.S. Attorney’s Office told the Civil Rights Division that a string of fatal shootings involving Denver police officers may point to a “developing pattern” of problems that should be addressed on a federal level.