The city of Owasso won’t accept the decision of an arbiter in the case of Michael Denton.
Denton was caught on tape elbowing a man, Bryan Spradlin, in the face, while bringing him in for arrest.
An arbiter in the case ruled that the action didn’t warrant Denton losing his job, and directed Owasso to re-hire him.
City Manager Rodney Ray announced today that he’s asked city attorneys to appeal that ruling in Tulsa County district court.
“We believe that the arbiter exceeded his jurisdictional authority,” Ray said, “by in effect rewriting the City of Owasso’s policy on excessive force.”
“There can’t be a little bit of unreasonable force,” he said. “There can’t be a little bit of unnecessary force.”
“The policies of the City of Owasso say there shall be no unreasonable or unnecessary force,” he said.
Ray says the City intends to carry out its disciplinary action on Denton; that is, firing him from the police force.
Owasso city attorneys will file the appeal either late this week or early next.
Louise, the mother of Michael Denton, made an appearance at the announcement at Owasso City Hall, and spoke to reporters outside the building.
She denied that her son had used excessive force, defending Denton’s claim that Spradlin had been about to spit on Denton. Click above to hear what she had to say about the case.
Follow this link to view the video of Spradlin's arrest. Note: Video contains graphic language and images that might be objectionable to some viewers.