Denver artist Raverro Stinnett left a gala just after midnight on April 20, 2018, and walked to Union Station to catch a train home.
When Stinnett left Union Station three hours later, he had a brain injury from being beaten in a bathroom by a private security guard working under a contract with the Regional Transportation District, a lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court alleges. Stinnett was unarmed and suspected of no crime.
The guard’s assault highlights how lax hiring standards and inadequate training from the security contractor, Allied Universal Security, create a culture of unaccountability and an unofficial police force with much less use-of-force training than an average city officer, the lawsuit alleges.
“RTD has committed over $58 million to Allied for under-qualified and under-trained Transit Security Officers,” said Felipe Bohnet-Gomez, one of Stinnett’s attorneys at the Rathod Mohamedbhai law firm. “Though Mr. Stinnett was simply waiting for his train, he was caught up in RTD and Allied’s systematic campaign to target the homeless and communities of color for increased scrutiny and harassment.”
The lawsuit highlights an ongoing discussion regarding who’s welcome at Union Station — a public space that calls itself “Denver’s Living Room” — and how long a person is allowed to stay there.