Farmington mayor asks for ‘patience, compassion’ after deadly police incident
FARMINGTON — Farmington Mayor Brett Anderson has put out a call for “patience, compassion and empathy” in the wake of the deadly confrontation between Farmington police and a man who had been pulled over due to an improper license plate on his car.
The incident Wednesday that left Chase Allan, 25, dead prompted a sharp rebuke from his family and prompted a vigil and demonstration in the man’s honor on Sunday, according to media reports. Allan was a Utah State University graduate, his family said in a statement last week, and “a patriot doing what he could to defend the people’s freedom and liberty in his community.”
At the same time, Anderson posted a statement on the City of Farmington Facebook page, seemingly aiming to deescalate apparent tensions. In their own statement last week, Allan’s family called the confrontation a “brutal murder” and said the responding officers fired “12-plus rounds.”
Anderson offered condolences to Allan’s family, expressed sympathy for police in light of the high-pressure situations they routinely face and cautioned the public against speculation or rumor mongering as the investigation continues.
“Very few people actually saw the interaction between Mr. Allan and the officers of the Farmington Police Department. The release of the body cam footage will help to answer the questions on many people’s minds,” Anderson wrote in the message, titled “A call for patience, compassion and empathy.”
He expects a “full release … in a matter of days” of footage from the body cameras worn by the officers involved in the incident. “We understand the need for transparency and the simultaneous need for investigative integrity. I ask for patience until the department releases the footage,” Anderson wrote.
Five Farmington officers fired during the incident, according to Farmington Police Chief Eric Johnsen. All five are on paid leave, as is routine, pending the outcome of an investigation by the Davis County Critical Incident Protocol Team.
Allan was pulled over by a Farmington officer on Wednesday due to “an illegitimate license plate” on his car, according to Farmington police. Johnsen said some sort of statement was placed where the plate is supposed to go referring “to sovereignty and whatnot.” In a separate case last year, his mother, Diane Killian-Allan, had fought driver’s license and vehicle registration infractions in Farmington on the grounds that she is not bound by the state and federal government.
After stopping Allan, he refused to cooperate with the officer on the scene, asserting that he was independent “from the laws of the land” and not required to cooperate, according to a Farmington Police Department press release from Friday. The officer sought backup, Allan continued to rebuff their pleas and orders and one of the officers on the scene opened one of the car doors in a bid to remove Allan from the vehicle.
An officer yelled, “gun, gun, gun,” a struggle ensued between Allan and police and shots were fired. “An empty holster can be seen on Mr. Allan’s right hip and a handgun can be seen lying on the driver side floorboard of the vehicle,” reads the statement from Friday.
Questions linger and many details remain hazy, however, which prompted Anderson to call on the public to withhold judgement.
“As our city moves forward through these difficult times, we also respectfully ask that all refrain from spreading rumors, engaging in speculation or making accusations based on incomplete or unverified information,” Anderson wrote. “It’s imperative that we let the investigation run its course and trust the justice system to provide a fair and impartial resolution for all parties involved.”
Anderson also offered words of support for police.
“Please remember, they are human. They too experience anxiety, stress, trauma and even fear in high-pressure situations. They often deal with the worst that human life has to offer (fatal traffic accidents, child abuse and neglect, suicides, assaults, etc.),” Anderson wrote.
A Farmington officer was involved in a deadly encounter with a man with a knife on Dec. 13, 2020. The Davis County Attorney’s Office subsequently ruled the officer was justified when he fired on the man after he crashed a car into a patrol cruiser and approached officers with a knife.
On Sept. 10, 2021, a Salt Lake City SWAT officer shot and killed a man in Farmington who was wanted in a felony domestic violence and kidnapping incident. The man fled from police in Clearfield and had taken hostages in a Farmington home. The Davis County Attorney’s Office determined the officer was justified in the use of force.