On July 9, at approximately 3:34am, Marvin Booker, a homeless street preacher was beaten to death by five Denver Sheriff Deputies while being processed into the new Downtown Detention Center, after he told the booking officer he wanted to get his shoes. Like many other unarmed black men who have been unjustly executed by law enforcement, his death was not only captured on video, but it was witnessed by more than twenty other detainees. Amazingly, the Deputies, who got together right after the incident to get their stories straight, and who never filed departmentally required incident reports, were neither indicted, nor reprimanded for their use of excessive¬†force against him. As a matter of fact, they did not lose even one day’s pay.
In the film, Marvin Booker Was Murdered, we look at the case surrounding the in-custody death of a man the City portrayed as being, “a nobody”. By presenting the facts, including the internal affairs bureau (IAB) interviews of the five sheriff’s, we reveal how Denver law enforcement chose to engage in a cover so it could protect the Thin Blue Line instead of the constitutional rights of Marvin Booker.
As an investigative documentary, the film shows how the deeply loving, and Faith-based Booker family from Memphis, along with their two unforgettable civil rights attorneys from Denver, along with community members from both cities, fought against the injustice of his killing.
What adds to the compelling nature of the story, is that the civil rights case of The Estate of Marvin Louis Booker vs. The City of Denver went to trial ¬†before a jury in 2014. It wasn’t settled out of court like so many other current cases of excessive force erupting across the country in this new era of civil rights violations.
And, because it did go to trial, through riveting interviews with Marvin’s legal counsel, and with the attorney who represented the City and the deputies involved, the film reconstructs the mindset, and to-what-lengths a City Administration went to, in order to cover-up Marvin’s death. The City’s attempt to deceive a federal judge, and a panel of jurors over its actions surrounding Marvin’s case, is as intriguing as it is chilling. The story is a case study of what a lack of law enforcement accountability looks like.
Marvin Booker Was Murdered shows the incredible dedication it takes for a family, their attorneys, and a community to overcome an excessive force incident against an unarmed black man, who simply wanted to get his shoes.
The Booker Family, from L-R: B.R. Booker, Calvin Booker, Gail Booker, Roxey "MaDear" Booker-Walton, and Spencer Booker.