DENVER (CBS4) – A Denver police officer was fired after a departmental review found he did not help a man who was shot in the leg. This man eventually died.
Officer Dewayne Rodgers and his partner were first at the location of a fired call at 10100 East Harvard Avenue on the morning of September 7, 2020. When they arrived, a man tagged the officers and led them to the shooting victim. Rodgers called an ambulance while his partner was laying the crime scene tape in the area.
About 10 minutes later, a third DPD officer comes and asks Rodgers whether he put a tourniquet on the victim. In a statement to investigators, the third officer said he had to intervene to help the victim.
“I was told on the spot that the victim was shot in the leg but did not want to identify himself,” said the policeman. “I approached the victim to try to put a tourniquet on the leg. The victim was so bloody that I couldn’t see where the wound was. I also observed that the victim was no longer responsive. I looked for shortness of breath and saw none. At this point fire and ambulance arrived. “
The same officer said he could not remember what Rodgers did after arriving at the crime scene. Officer Rodgers said in a statement that he usually carries a tourniquet, but not that night.
In a disciplinary letter released by the city, Rodgers said he “did not reveal that (the victim) was getting worse. I only ventilated to see where the paramedics are. “
“My only reason why I didn’t lay my hands on the victim had nothing to do with the fear of getting blood on my hands, just because I didn’t want to hurt him any more than he was already hurt.” Rodgers continued in a statement.
“I made up my mind not to touch him because he’s in dire straits at this point,” Rodgers continued. “He’s bleeding out. He can barely move and he can barely talk to me. With everything that was going on, I’ve decided I can’t touch him. I didn’t want to fish for the injury and cause even more damage. “
Rodgers’ body-worn camera shows the victim “I’m dying,” “I can’t breathe,” and “help me” several times during the interaction.
Investigators concluded that Officer Rodgers did not attempt to assist the victim during the 10-minute interaction and that video evidence from his own body-worn camera undermined his defenses that he did not know where the victim was shot. Investigators also concluded that at no time did Officer Rodgers come near the victim to look for a wound, touch the victim, or offer words of comfort. The disciplinary measure for his behavior was termination without notice.