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Ogden police investigate ‘use of force’ incident on Washington Boulevard

By Tim Vandenack - | Apr 23, 2023

Image supplied, Keaton Fuller

Ogden police are investigating a “use of force incident” that occurred Saturday, April 22, 2023, on Washington Boulevard. This image is taken from video filmed by Keaton Fuller of Pleasant View, which shows a portion of officers’ encounter with an unidentified person. The video was posted by Fuller to one of his social media accounts and subsequently shared by others online.

OGDEN -- Ogden police are investigating a "use of force" incident involving several officers that occurred late Saturday afternoon on Washington Boulevard.

A short video of a portion of the encounter was posted on Sunday to Facebook and other social media channels that appears to show four Ogden officers subduing somebody in the middle of the southbound lanes of Washington Boulevard south of 17th Street. Two of the officers appear to strike the person 12 to 14 times over the course of about five seconds in the 19-second-long video.

"The Ogden Police Department is aware of a use of force incident involving our officers, which a bystander filmed," the department said in a Facebook post Sunday. "The department had begun an after-action use of force investigation prior to the release of the bystander video. We will report those findings and all available body worn camera footage as soon as possible."

Keaton Fuller of Pleasant View -- referred to the Standard-Examiner by one of the posters of the video -- said he filmed the video from his car at around 6 p.m. Saturday as he was leaving a nearby car wash. The iconic Ogden arch across Washington Boulevard near the Ogden River is partially visible in the background.

"I guess I don't have much to say about the situation because I don't know exactly what happened," he said.

Image supplied, Keaton Fuller

Ogden police are investigating a “use of force incident” that occurred Saturday, April 22, 2023, on Washington Boulevard. This image is taken from video filmed by Keaton Fuller of Pleasant View, which shows a portion of officers’ encounter with an unidentified person. The video was posted by Fuller to one of his social media accounts and subsequently shared by others online.

However, the sight of the officers and the man apparently struggling in the middle of the street alarmed him, which prompted him to post the video to his Snapchat account. Friends, he said, later posted it to other social media channels and now he's curious what police have to say about what happened.

"To be honest, it was like, this is what I saw. This is what happened in Ogden," Fuller said.

Ogden police spokesperson Lt. William Farr, reached Sunday, said he doesn't know how long the probe will take and he had no additional information beyond what's in the press release. "We're doing the investigation on it. That's it," Farr said.

While he was driving to the car wash before the recorded encounter, Fuller said he had seen the man involved in the incident -- a "pretty rough looking" guy in his 20s or 30s -- jaywalking across an Ogden street several blocks north of where the apparent confrontation occurred. About an hour later on leaving the locale, Mister Car Wash, Fuller saw the man again, still walking, with police edging alongside him in a car.

The man ran and police came out of the vehicle and gave chase, leading to the confrontation in the middle of Washington Boulevard, where the video begins.

"It all happened so fast," said Fuller, who was filming from his car while at a stoplight. "There were, it seemed, four cops on top of him, pinning him down."

Debate has raged across the country about use-of-force incidents involving police, and Saturday's incident sparked fierce back-and-forth on Sunday in the feed of the Ogden Police Department's Facebook post about its investigation.

"I see two cops pounding on someone. What none of us know is if this person had a gun or knife," said one poster. "If so, kudos to the cops for pounding him instead of shooting him. If not, then some cops need to find another career. But again, (c)ircumstances may justify their actions."

Another poster offered a more critical take.

"Unnecessary and anyone who can't see that what they did was overly aggressive, then that's a problem," wrote the commenter. "He's laying on the ground being held down by multiple officers there was no reason to wail on the person like that."

Fuller was filming from the eastbound lane of 17th Street at the light just west of Washington Boulevard and he stopped taking video as he noticed a line of cars backed up behind him, waiting to proceed. He turned left on to Washington Boulevard, away from the incident, and doesn't know what happened after he ceased recording.

The apparent blows by the two officers last around five seconds and the person in the street appears to be subdued by the end of the 19-second video.

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