Owasso City Manager Rodney Ray says police officer Mike Denton used excessive force, should be fired

OWASSO, Okla. - The city of Owasso weighed in on a controversial case of potential police brutality Thursday, announcing in an afternoon press conference their decision to fight an arbitrator's decision to reinstate an officer who lost his job.

Mike Denton, a former lieutenant with the Owasso Police Department, was fired in 2011 over the treatment of a man under arrest.

Video was captured by a camera attached to another officer's uniform of Denton's treatment of Bryan Spradlin on June 30, 2011. Spradlin was arrested on a public intoxication complaint.

WARNING: This video contains adult language.

In March, an arbitrator overturned Denton's firing and ordered his reinstatement.

Ray said Thursday the order was an overstep by the arbitrator and that any amount of excessive force by an officer is unacceptable.

"Mr. Spradlin served and protected his country. He came home with issues," Ray said. "He deserved to be taken down and handcuffed ...  We believe the arbiter exceeded his jurisdiction and authority, by in effect rewriting the city of Owasso's policy on excessive force."

The city will file its request Friday or early next week. In the meantime, Denton will not be reinstated with the department.

Spradlin chose not to sue the city, receiving a $1,500 out-of-court settlement.

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