Ogden PD report: Man subdued on Washington Blvd. ignored commands to stop
OGDEN — The video-taped incident involving four Ogden police officers aggressively subduing a man on Washington Boulevard apparently occurred after the man fled police and ignored an officer’s command to stop.
Police aren’t yet saying anything to the media about the confrontation, which occurred late Saturday afternoon and went viral on Sunday after a 19-second-long video of the encounter taped by a bystander was posted to social media. The “use of force incident” — the video appears to show four officers swarmed around the man, with two striking him several times as he lays prone on Washington Boulevard — remains the focus of an investigation.
But details in a probable cause affidavit filed by police in 2nd District Court in Ogden stemming from an incident at 5:50 p.m. Saturday coincide with what the bystander, Keaton Fuller, said transpired. Probable cause affidavits are meant as narratives offering details and rationale that lead to charges. The police probe into the use of force in Saturday’s incident is a separate investigation.
Presuming the incidents are one and the same — again, details provided by Fuller line up with information in the affidavit, a public record — the court filing offers an additional glimpse into what happened.
According to the affidavit, the incident unfolded after an officer in a police car came across the man as he was walking in the 1700 block of Washington Boulevard on the white marking separating the shoulder of the street — a major thoroughfare — from the easternmost northbound travel lane. The Standard-Examiner isn’t naming the man since police have not said if he is the same person in the video.
“I activated my overhead red and blue emergency lights giving (the man) a visual signal to stop. (The man) fled west across Washington Blvd. where I then gave verbal commands to stop,” reads the affidavit, filed by one of the Ogden officers involved.
The officer pursued the man, who apparently resisted efforts to stop him. Fuller — who described a similar string of events — said he saw four officers subduing the man and the video likewise shows four officers on top of a prone man in the middle of the southbound lanes of Washington Boulevard.
“(The man) continued running and had to be forcefully taken to the ground, where (the man) continued to stiffen his arms and keep them under his person despite officers giving him verbal commands to provide his hands,” reads the affidavit.
The man was ultimately taken into custody and arrested on eight counts. They include an infraction for walking in Washington Boulevard, a misdemeanor count for interfering with an arresting officer, another misdemeanor count for not stopping on the command of a law enforcement officer, four felony drug possession charges and a misdemeanor count for intoxication.
The officer who wrote the report said the man, while in custody, exhibited signs of being “under the influence of a controlled substance.” The man — being held without bail in the Weber County jail as of Monday afternoon — subsequently reported he had taken a range of illegal drugs, according to the affidavit.
Fuller, who spoke to the Standard-Examiner on Sunday, said he was leaving Mister Car Wash at 1721 Washington Blvd. at around 6 p.m. Saturday when he saw police subduing a man in the southbound travel lanes of Washington Boulevard. That’s just north of the iconic Ogden arch near the Ogden River.
Fuller started filming from his car and the video he took appears to show that two of the four responding officers struck the man in the street 12-14 times between them over a span of about five seconds. Fuller stopped filming just before turning left from 17th Street onto Washington Boulevard, away from the incident. As the video ends, the man appears to be subdued.
In response to the video — which sparked heated debate in social media channels among those who viewed it about use of force by police — the Ogden Police Department issued a statement on Sunday saying it is investigating the incident. The statement said the department had launched the “after-action use of force investigation” even before Fuller’s video was posted online.
On Monday, Ogden police Lt. William Farr offered no new details but said officials are trying to quickly finish their probe, collecting camera footage and officers’ statements. Probable cause affadavits are meant as narratives offering details and rationale that lead to charges. The police probe into the use of force in Saturday’s incident is a separate investigation.
“It is getting pushed pretty quickly,” Farr said.