Ex-FBI agent tried to prove police cover-up
DENVER (AP) – A former FBI agent who claims to have proof of a police cover up in the fatal shooting of an immigrant during a raid at the wrong house has lost his latest bid to air his evidence in open court.U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch dismissed the defamation lawsuit filed by James F. Kearney. He accused the Denver SWAT team, the police union and others of retaliation after publicly discussing the police shooting of Ismael Mena, who was killed during a “no-knock” raid in 1999.Matsch dismissed the lawsuit Tuesday, according to documents made public Thursday.Matsch ruled that Kearney did not provide sufficient evidence to support claims of an organized criminal conspiracy to protect the officers and retaliate against Kearney. Matsch also said Kearney did not prove his professional reputation was damaged by a lawsuit filed against him by officers.The judge left open the option for Kearney to file state claims.Mena, 45, was killed during the raid in September 1999. Kearney, who spent 25 years with the FBI, said he investigated the shooting at the request of a Mena family attorney.Kearney said his investigation found that officers had shot an unarmed Mena through a door and wall, then shot him again. He said officers planted a gun and smeared gunpowder on Mena’s hands to cover up the crime.An internal police investigation concluded that SWAT officers killed Mena because he fired at them. Jefferson County District Attorney Dave Thomas, a special prosecutor appointed to examine the case, cleared the officers of wrongdoing.Kearney discussed his findings on KHOW-AM radio shows hosted by Peter Boyles in 2000, which prompted police to file a defamation lawsuit against the station and Kearney.Claims were dropped against the station after it agreed to donate $55,000 to Denver police in 2001. Kearney was dropped from the suit the following year.
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