Watchdog: Officer Should Have Been Punished for Excessive Force

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DENVER (AP) - Denver's independent police watchdog says an officer who slammed a handcuffed woman head-first into a wall while taking her to a detox facility should have been punished for using excessive force.

The police monitor said in a report released Thursday that Officer Marika Putnam was not disciplined for using force against the woman during the December 2012 incident. Surveillance video of the encounter shows Putnam swing the handcuffed woman, Patricia Lucero, into a wall, causing facial lacerations that required stitches.

Police wrote in reports of the incident that Lucero was yelling obscenities and was agitated.

Denver community activists say the case is a sign that, despite efforts for reform, police brutality still exists in a city that has been roiled by a series of excessive force cases.