Attorneys for a Hispanic teenager filed a lawsuit Thursday accusing five Denver police officers of brutally beating him and causing severe internal injuries.
The lawyers seek a $1.3 million settlement, claiming 16-year-old Juan Guillermo Vasquez was "unfairly targeted . . . because of his Hispanic race" by the Anglo officers, according to a letter Wednesday declaring their intent to sue the city.
Officer Charles Porter is accused of jumping up and down on Vasquez as he lay in an alley and "cried for him to stop and begged for his life," according to the lawsuit claiming excessive force and violation of the boy's constitutional rights.
The lawsuit, filed by attorney Douglas Romero in Denver District Court, names the city, police department and the five officers as defendants.
Police spokeswoman Detective Sharon Hahn said the department does not comment on pending lawsuits.
The suit accuses several unnamed officers of cursing Vas quez while kicking and punching him and striking him with a flashlight so hard that it shattered against his body.
Porter was charged last week with felony assault after two fellow officers confirmed that Porter repeatedly jumped on Vasquez's back, according to criminal court records.