- Associated Press - Thursday, July 24, 2014

DENVER (AP) - A federal judge said Thursday he will likely accept a proposed $3.3 million settlement offer from the city of Denver to a former inmate who claims a deputy encouraged other inmates to beat him.

However, U.S. District Judge John Kane said after a closed hearing that unresolved issues remain in the case involving Jamal Hunter, and the judge might pursue other action against city officials.

Attorneys in the case are “dedicated to continuing to resolve this matter and in such a way that I can accept such a settlement,” Kane said.

The proposed payout is believed to be the largest in Denver’s history intended to settle a civil rights case.

City Attorney Scott Martinez has said the proposed settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing but the fastest way to resolve the case and proceed with reforms.

Word of the possible settlement came a day after Sheriff Gary Wilson resigned amid mounting misconduct allegations against his deputies.

The accusations in Hunter’s civil lawsuit were so serious that Kane asked the Department of Justice to investigate the Denver police and sheriff’s departments.

Hunter claims Deputy Gaynel Rumer knew about the July 2011 attack in advance and dimmed the lights in his cell block so cameras would not record a group of inmates beating him and scalding his genitals with hot water.

Cameras captured another deputy choking Hunter 12 days later, after Hunter asked for medical attention.

Two Denver police officers interviewed Amos Page, a key witness, at a state prison more than two years after the beating. The revelation prompted Kane to seek a federal probe into whether they illegally intimidated him.

Court documents indicate that Page, described as a ringleader in the attack, would have testified that Rumer was drunk on the job, allowed jail inmates to beat up other inmates and supplied them with pornography and marijuana.

Attorneys for Rumer have denied the allegations.


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