Less than three months after taking control of Denver’s police, sheriff and fire departments, Manager of Safety Ron Perea resigned yesterday amid growing uproar over how he disciplined officers, the Denver Post reports. Perea brushed aside concerns earlier this month from other city officials who feared he was too lenient in refusing to fire three officers involved in two separate police abuse cases – including a highly publicized case in which video shows police beating a man. His decisions in those cases started to unravel in the past seven days.
After a meeting yesteray between Perea and Mayor John Hickenlooper, Perea returned to his office at the downtown police headquarters and told confidants that he had resigned. Hickenlooper said Perea told him he didn’t feel he could build trust with the public given the controversy his decisions had created. “Once he put it it in that context, it was hard to argue with,” Hickenlooper said. “It would be very difficult to rebuild after all the events of the last four or five days. It would be very hard to rebuild that trust.” The police department last week announced it would reopen an internal investigation into a case in which officers accused of covering up the Lower Downtown area beating were docked three days’ pay by Perea. Hickenlooper requested the FBI review the officers’ actions after the video was widely circulated on news stations and the Internet.