DENVER — A Colorado district attorney asked a grand jury Thursday to investigate the 2010 death of a street preacher in a city jail after deputies shocked the man with a Taser and restrained him.
The request by Denver District Attorney Beth McCann renewed scrutiny of the case years after her predecessor decided not to file charges against any of the officers.
McCann’s announcement said she isn’t asking a grand jury to reconsider homicide charges but instead to focus on what happened after 56-year-old Marvin Booker died in the downtown jail.
The move is based on new information raised by a 2014 federal civil rights lawsuit filed by Booker’s family, McCann said.
“This will allow for a complete and thorough review of new questions that have been raised about conduct that took place after the death of Mr. Booker,” she said in statement.
McCann didn’t provide more detail about her concern with actions after Booker’s death.
A federal jury in the civil rights case found the five deputies used excessive force when they shocked Booker with a Taser while he was handcuffed, put him in a sleeper hold and lay on top of him.
The $6 million settlement that followed was among the largest in Denver’s history.
Daelene Mix, a spokeswoman for the Denver Department of Public Safety, said the agency will await the outcome of the grand jury review before commenting.
Mix said four of the five deputies remain with the sheriff’s department.
In 2010, then-District Attorney Mitch Morrissey said the deputies were justified in the force they used and wrote that Booker should have complied with deputies’ orders.
Booker’s family wrote to McCann earlier this year, requesting she take another look at the case. The letter largely focused on whether a sheriff’s sergeant turned over the Taser she had used on Booker or gave investigators a different device.
Darold Killmer, an attorney for Booker’s family, said data stored on the devices and other evidence proves a different Taser was given to authorities.
Video footage showed the five deputies talking in the sergeant’s office after Booker died but before each was interviewed about what had happened, violating department policy, Killmer said.
Booker’s family was gratified by McCann’s decision to ask the grand jury for another review.
“I think it sends a powerful message to the police and the sheriff’s department that it’s a new day,” Killmer said.