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Body cam video shows Denver cop knocking handcuffed man unconscious in bar basement

Officer reaches plea deal, will serve no jail time

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DENVER – Body camera video was released Friday showing a Denver police corporal knocking a handcuffed man unconscious in the basement of a bar where he was working off-duty as a security guard.

Cpl. Michael Oestmann was originally charged with misdemeanor assault in connection to the April 14, 2018 incident. However, he reached a plea deal last week that will allow him to wipe a guilty plea to a misdemeanor menacing charge from his record if he follows court orders, the Denver Post reported. Oestmann will serve no jail time.

The video shows a man identified as Kevin Watson handcuffed in a chair in the basement of Jackson's Hole Bar in Downtown Denver. Court papers said the man was detained after participating in a bar fight.

Watson is heard taunting Oestmann for several minutes leading up to the physical altercation. He calls the officer profane names and tries to entice him into removing the handcuffs. At one point, he spits at the officer's feet.

After five minutes of taunting, Watson is seen spitting again in Oestmann's direction. The officer then rushes at the handcuffed man, punches him in the face, and slams his knee into his chest, causing him to become unconscious. 

"You will not spit on me again! Do you understand me?" Oestmann yells. "What was that about being a b***h? Who's unconscious now?"

Oestmann is then heard calling for an ambulance.

Watch the video below. [WARNING: Language, graphic content]

Oestmann remains at the Denver Police Department in a clerical position, according to a police spokesperson. An internal investigation into Oestmann's actions is ongoing.

According to the Denver Post, officers working off-duty are still bound by the department's policies.


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