A civilian oversight group has found that the Denver Sheriff’s Department has not been tracking deputies whose credibility issues could impact their court testimony, triggering a review of thousands of internal affairs records to compile that information.
Law enforcement officials with known credibility issues, like lying or bias, are often placed on what’s known as a “Brady list.” The name refers to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that requires prosecutors to turn over all evidence that could clear a person of guilt in a criminal case.
Officials announced Tuesday that the city’s Public Integrity Division found that the sheriff’s department has not been keeping track of such deputies.
“We believe there are between 40-70 former and current deputies this could affect,” said Troy Riggs, Denver’s director of public safety.
Officials said former jail leadership may not have considered the department a law enforcement agency and therefore did not find it responsible for meeting the Brady reporting requirements. That has changed under current leadership.
“Let’s be clear: I’m the director of public safety. This is my responsibility, and I have a responsibility to the public to fix this,” Riggs said.
There’s no telling how many, if any, criminal cases could have been impacted by the omission, but Riggs pointed out that Denver deputies are rarely called on to testify in court. When they are, defense attorneys can always request and receive such information about a law enforcement witness.