Owasso, OK — Owasso police officer, Mike Denton, was fired in 2011 after body cam and surveillance footage showed him stomping on a handcuffed man’s head and then repeatedly elbowing him in the face.
The victim was Brian Spalding.
Spalding’s arrest was caught on all of the officer’s lapel cams and paints a clear picture of excessive force, justifying the city’s response of firing Denton.
However, the Fraternal Order of Police, who argued that Denton was simply “protecting himself” by stomping on a man’s head, nearly breaking both of his arms, and elbowing him. So they filed a grievance, which was heard by federal mediator Edward Valverde in March of 2012.
On Sept 22 2014, keeping his rank and position, and back pay, Denton was reinstated. “He’s put back into the exact same role that he left under, which means that he is a lieutenant over a patrol shift,” Police Chief Scott Chambless told Tulsa World.
Less than a year later, Denton is caught on film again. This time he’s seen ramming the barrel of his rifle into the face of suspected car thief, Cody Mathews.
According to Tulsa World,
Cody Mathews, 25, of Glenpool, was arrested by Tulsa police Sunday after he led officers on a 45-minute pursuit that ended in Nowata County, authorities said. He had fled from police who attempted to stop a stolen 2014 Ford F-150 pickup about 7:35 p.m. in the 1000 block of North New Haven Avenue in Tulsa, Tulsa Police Cpl. Greg Smith said earlier this week.
Mathews had been driving dangerously during the chase. He also had a 19-year-old woman in the truck with him who claimed she was forced into the truck. However, he was surrounded by a dozen cops, and his truck was stuck in the mud. The threat he posed at this time had diminished significantly.
Denton is seen on dashcam video walking up to the truck window and ramming the barrel of his rifle into the face of Mathews six times. Mathews is then pulled from the truck and Denton proceeds to dole out even more damage to the man after he’s thrown to the ground.
At the :24 mark in the video, it appears that Denton’s coworkers attempt to stop his assault. One of the officers even grabs the back of Denton’s vest. But the assault continued anyway.
Cody Mathews is no saint and he deserves to be punished for his criminal activity. However, this punishment is not supposed to come from Mike Denton, whose job is to uphold the law, not inflict pain.
At the end of the dashcam video, Denton can be seen walking by the camera — smiling as he basks in his violent glory.
Mike Denton was fired for being a bad cop. He deserved it. He’s already cost the taxpayers tens of thousands for his brutality. Now, because of the power of police unions, he will likely cost them even more.