OWASSO — The city manager in Owasso says the city will appeal a ruling that the city reinstate a police officer who was fired for use of excessive force.
Lt. Mike Denton was fired in November after officials determined he stepped on the man's head, stretched the handcuffed man's arms and elbowed him three times in the face after arresting him in June 2011 for public intoxication.
Denton appealed and an arbitrator reduced the firing to a written reprimand after finding his actions were “unreasonable and unnecessary,” but not excessive.
City Manager Rodney Ray told reporters Thursday that city policy and state law prohibit unreasonable or unnecessary use of force by a police officer.
An attorney for Denton says Denton elbowed the man because he was trying to spit on him.