Look to see if Randolph Romero has had a recent criminal case brought against him and you’ll be met with the official response “no such records exist.”
That is a lie perpetrated by one of the many Colorado judges who have proved themselves far too willing to seal court cases, even cases where there is a legitimate public interest.
In this case, Romero is a former Denver Sheriff Department sergeant who was charged with misdemeanor assault and acquitted by a jury last week.
Without the Denver District Attorney’s Office publicizing the charges and the case’s outcome, we would never have known Romero was flagged for bad behavior. And now we’ll never know what evidence may have swayed the jury to find Romero not guilty of the charges.
This is just one more case among thousands of sealed records that would have remained obscured without the work of reporters at The Denver Post.
What we do know, thanks to a video that was made public only after Denver Post reporter Noelle Phillips filed an open records request for it from the sheriff’s office, is that Romero grabbed the neck of a handcuffed man and slammed him to the ground of an elevator. There’s no physical provocation shown on the video, which doesn’t have any sound. (Read more...)