Prosecutor clears 4 Utah officers of wrongdoing in shooting

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OGDEN, Utah (AP) — A prosecutor has concluded that four Ogden police officers were justified in shooting and killing a man last August.

Weber County Attorney Chris Allred cleared the officers of wrongdoing for shooting 26-year-old Jovany Mercado, of Ogden, who died at the scene, the Ogden Standard-Examiner reports.

The newspaper filed a records request to obtain a Jan. 30 letter from Allred to Police Chief Randy Watt.

The officers were responding to a report that a man with a knife was looking into cars in the area. When they arrived, Mercado walked toward them with a folding knife in his hand.

The officers shouted a total of 23 times to Mercado to drop the knife before they opened fire, Allred wrote to Watt.

The four Ogden policemen who fired were identified as officers Brandon Sevenski, Nigil Bailey, Karson Garcia and John Poulsen, according to a Weber County Attorney’s Office investigation report also obtained by the newspaper through a records request.

Analysis revealed the four officers fired 20 bullets and hit Mercado 16 times, according to the report.

Mercado’s death was the second of four fatal police shootings that took place in Weber and Davis counties in 2019.

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