Ex-trooper in Kemp death hired as cop

Cpl. Kirk Firko

A former Colorado State Patrol trooper who was prosecuted in the shooting death of a Redlands man is again working in law enforcement, much to the chagrin of a victim’s family.

Kirk Firko, who was fired by the State Patrol in the aftermath of the 2010 shooting death of Jason Kemp, is now employed as an officer by the Mountain View Police Department, a tiny nine-member agency with jurisdiction over 12 square blocks west of Denver, according to a report by KUSA television in Denver.

Firko’s employment there was part of a larger KUSA story focusing on controversial traffic enforcement practices by the Mountain View Police Department.

Mountain View Police Chief Mark Toth has not responded to numerous messages from The Daily Sentinel.

“My family is outraged,” said Georgia resident Leisel Kemp, Jason’s sister.

“He’s a threat to society and has no business being in law enforcement.”

“We fought so hard to try and prevent this,” she said.

The family has sought consultation on their options with their lawyers at the Colorado American Civil Liberties Union branch, she said.

Firko, along with Ivan “Gene” Lawyer, were fired by the State Patrol in September 2012, just before the state of Colorado settled the Kemp family’s wrongful death federal lawsuit for $1 million.

The State Patrol also agreed to train all troopers on various Fourth Amendment issues, while the settlement specified training “on facts necessary to constitute hot pursuit, including that a suspected DUI that results in no personal injury does not in fact justify warrantless entry to a home.”

Kemp, 31, was fatally shot by Lawyer on July 20, 2010, in the front doorway of his Redlands home.

Lawyer was acquitted on state charges, including criminally negligent homicide, in April 2012.

Charges against Firko were dropped after Lawyer’s acquittal.

Lawyer and Firko were investigating a non-injury traffic accident, involving Kemp as a suspected drunken driver, when the troopers started knocking and kicking down Kemp’s front door. Kemp refused to open the door and demanded they get a warrant. The door eventually gave way before an unarmed Kemp was fatally shot.

The U.S. Department of Justice confirmed undertaking a review of the case in April 2012, but has remained silent since.


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