Video shows Utah officer allegedly punching man

News

MURRAY, UTAH (ABC4 News) – ABC4 is looking into an incident that happened on Tuesday when a man was taken into custody in Murray.

In a cellphone video sent to ABC4, three officers are walking towards a man and the move in to arrest him.

As the man is being apprehended, an officer appears to punch at the man at least two to three times, however, due to the quality of the video, it is not fully clear what fully transpired.

“We had an officer that was at Intermountain Health Care Tuesday night,” said Sgt. Melody Cutler of Unified Police Department. “He was leaving the hospital. It was just after 9 p.m.”

As an officer was driving along 5400 South in Murray, Unified Police say he saw the man walking in traffic and acting erratically.

“The officer was asking for other units to arrive before he tried to engage the male, but as he kept trying to get hit the officer decided he had to do something or he’s going to get hit by a car,” said Sgt. Cutler.

Prior to responding officers from the Murray Police Department showing up, UPD says its officer tased the man twice and had no effect on him. He was still acting erratically and posing a threat to himself and others by walking in and out of traffic.


The eyewitness who recorded the video shares this account:

“I was getting off the freeway and the guy jumped out of his car and started throwing stuff out of his pockets, then ran and the cop ran after him and had to tackle him. The guy was on the ground with his hands behind his back but was still trying to resist. Then the officer started hitting him in the face.”

ABC4 showed the video to a mental health expert.

“Everyone should have de-escalation (training), and of course know how to recognize this is behavioral health,” said Ginger Phillips, a Certified Peer Support Specialist. “No lights, no sirens, no yelling.”

ABC4 has reached out to ask both UPD and the Murray Police Department for police bodycam footage which they said they are looking into. It is not clear at this point what department the officer in question works for but both departments are working together to understand what transpired.

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