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Deputy involved in wrongful death 10 years ago charged with racing prison van with inmates inside

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DENVER -- It's always a bad idea to take the company car drag racing, and it's an even worse idea when you're a deputy -- and your company car is a prison transport van with inmates inside. This particular deputy has been in major trouble before.

"Members of law enforcement shouldn't just be held to the same standards as the rest of us, but a higher standard," said Mari Newman, attorney. "They took an oath to serve and protect, and that's what they have to do."

That's what most law enforcement in Colorado do on a daily basis -- serve and protect.

"There are a few bad apples who make a bad name for other law enforcement," said Newman.

Newman knows because she was one of the prosecutors in the excessive force killing of Marvin Booker. In 2014, five Denver deputies were ordered to pay millions for their actions, but Newman noted, "They all continue to work in LE," including Deputy James Grimes -- a name Newman had not heard since that trial.

"I wish I could say that I was surprised to hear that Deputy Grimes engaged in another round of misconduct where he put inmates at risk, but it's not a surprise," said Newman.

On Jan. 16, Colorado State Police said Grimes was charged for recklessly driving an occupied prison transport van. Witnesses said he appeared to be racing a pickup truck along I-25. Both were clocked in excess of 100 miles per hour.

"Of course there are good police and there are good sheriffs, but officers like Deputy Grimes who continue to put their department in the limelight for their bad conduct put all officers at risk," said Newman. "They need to be disciplined, they need to be fired and they need to be criminally charged."

Newman said this wouldn't have happened if Grimes had been fired after that wrongful death verdict. She called for more independent investigations of law enforcement conduct.

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