Lieutenant Mike Denton was fired from the Owasso Police Department in June of 2011.
He was fired for using excessive force on a man arrested for public intoxication. Video was released from other officers’ lapel cameras that showed the entire incident.
In the video, three officers are trying to take the man in custody from the patrol car into the police station. Once in the building, Denton can be seen looking back at the man and elbowing him in the face.
Denton claimed he was defending himself as the man in custody was apparently about to spit on the officer.
After being fired, Denton filed a lawsuit against the City of Owasso claiming his constitutional rights had been violated.
In March of 2012, courts ruled that Denton should be reinstated, but that never happened.
On Tuesday, April 15, 2014, the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals ruled that Denton be reinstated.
The City of Owasso released the following statement:
“We are disappointed in today’s ruling and evaluating our options,” said Owasso City Manager Warren Lehr.
The city did not say whether or not an appeal would be filed.