DENVER | A Denver police officer was suspended for about a month after she struck a pedestrian with her patrol vehicle last year while using her cellphone, authorities said.
Officer Jamie Taft was suspended for 38 days after pleading guilty to careless driving in January, KDVR-TV reported. Taft was also charged with careless driving resulting in injury and infliction of serious bodily injury to a vulnerable road user, but those charges were dismissed.
The man she struck suffered multiple spinal fractures.
Taft was stopped at an intersection near downtown around 11 p.m. before making a left turn and hitting a pedestrian in September 2019, authorities said. Video from Taft’s body-worn camera shows she started to type into her cellphone as she made the turn.
Taft immediately stopped her patrol car, called for an ambulance and put on her emergency lights.
The Denver Department of Public Safety said Taft apologized to the pedestrian and told him she was distracted by a bicycle in her backseat. Taft later said she was holding her phone but was distracted by the bike, officials said.
Taft was performing “manual data entry” with the phone and that the pedestrian was not jaywalking, according to a department document.
After an investigation, the department determined Taft “drove in a careless and imprudent manner without due regard for a pedestrian lawfully within the roadway.”