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Appeals court rules in favor of fired Oklahoma police officer

BY RHETT MORGAN, TULSA WORLD Published: April 15, 2014
Warning: Video contains graphic content.

A veteran Owasso police officer fired in 2011 because he violated the department’s use-of-force policy has won an appeal that asked the city to enforce an arbitrator’s decision to reinstate him.

In a decision filed Tuesday, the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals reversed a January 2013 Tulsa County decision by Associate District Judge Dana Kuehn, who found that reinstating Mike Denton would pose “a special risk of injury, physical and psychological, to citizens and, if he is allowed reinstatement, the department will be faced with explaining why Owasso allows abusive conduct by its officers, which is against the law.”

Presiding Judge Larry Joplin wrote the majority opinion for the appellate court. Judge Robert Bell concurred and William C. Hetherington Jr. dissented.

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