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The Justice Files: Arrested man claims police brutality

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – Trent Thayne didn’t want to stop for police.

Four patrol cars with Pleasant Grove police were following him with their emergency lights engaged, but Thayne chose not to stop and his attorney said he paid for it.

Thayne has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Pleasant Grove police for using unnecessary force during a stop in 2017.

“One officer comes over to my front window puts a gun to his hand,” Thayne said. “The other comes to the other window. I put my hands up.”

Thayne’s attorney released a copy of the recording which was caught on one of the officer’s dash cameras. The video showed Thayne stopped at an intersection following a police chase through the Utah County community.

The recording showed several officers surrounded Thayne and took him out of his car. Thayne had failed to stop for police and was pursued by the officers for several miles.

“I had my hands up,” said Thayne. “I didn’t do anything. I didn’t threaten them any.”

The video showed the officers pulling him out of the vehicle.

“I didn’t fall to the ground,” he said. “They threw me down, kicked me and kneed me and slugged me and slammed my head to the ground.”

His attorney questioned why the officers were not held accountable for what they did to Thayne.

“It is a criminal offense (what officers did),” he claimed. “You look at the one officer in the video. He picks up Trent’s head and smashes it into the pavement. There was no reason for that force.”

He said the actions by the four officers were not part of a normal arrest.

“That’s beating the crap out of somebody,” he said.

Police took Thayne to the hospital after suffering head, neck and other body injuries.

His attorney also suspected Thayne was Tasered because of the marks left on his neck. But Thayne said he didn’t remember much after the officer allegedly shoved his head into the pavement.

But he does remember going to the Utah County jail after he got out of the hospital. He was charged with DUI and resisting arrest.

“I didn’t stop for the officers because they had threatened me,” he said.

Thayne admitted that over the years, there was bad blood between himself and Pleasant Grove police.

According to the probable cause statement filed by police at the Utah County jail, Thayne “was observed swerving while occupying the road.”

In May, he pleaded guilty to failing to stop for police but DUI charges were dismissed when blood tests cleared him.

His attorney said the lawsuit is about accountability.

“He pleaded guilty and is held accountable for that action,” Monahan said. “The problem is nobody holds the officers accountable.”

Meanwhile, Thayne is still recovering from his injuries. He said his vision is blurred in one of his eyes as a result of his head hitting the pavement.

“They did this out of spite,” Thayne said. “I mean I did nothing wrong, zero wrong.”

ABC4 attempted to contact the Pleasant Grove city attorney and the prosecutor in Utah County. The calls and emails sent were not returned.

MORE THE JUSTICE FILES:

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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