© Denver Post | John Prieto
Manager of Safety Charles F. Garcia talks about firing two police officers
Two Denver police officers were fired this afternoon in connection with a 2009 beating of 23-year-old man in Lower Downtown.

Officer Devin Sparks and Cpl. Randy Murr have both lost their jobs, Safety Manager Charley Garcia and Mayor Bill Vidal said during a press conference at City Hall this afternoon.

Sparks was caught on videotape throwing Michael DeHerrera to the ground as DeHerrera talked on a cellphone. The video then shows Sparks repeatedly beating him with a department-issued sap, a piece of metal wrapped in leather.

The Denver district attorney's office reviewed the case and declined to file criminal charges.

Denver police internal affairs division then conducted its own investigation, which was sent to then-Safety Manager Ron Perea.

Independent Monitor Richard Rosenthal recommended firing both officers for filing inaccurate reports, not for excessive force. A deputy police chief recommended they be suspended.

Perea later recommended both officers be suspended for three days - a decision that created an uproar among Denver residents and ultimately led Perea to resign.

Last summer, Denver police reopened the case. Last week, Chief Gerry Whitman recommended Sparks be fired.

The recommendation then went to Garcia, a former head of Denver's public defender's office who took over as safety manager on March 16.