Mercado shooting body cam Screen Shot

A screenshot of a body camera video shows Ogden man Jovany Mercado shortly before he is shot by four Ogden Police Departments on Friday, Aug. 16, 2019. 

OGDEN — Ogden Police have released a brief video of a fatal police shooting that took place in Ogden last month.

On Wednesday afternoon, the department made a video public that depicts the shooting of 26-year-old Ogden man Jovany Mercado, who was shot by four police officers on Aug. 16.

Police said in a press release that dispatchers received a call from a home near the 800 block of 32nd Street in Ogden. The caller reported that a man with a knife approached a group having a party in their yard. Later, the caller said the man wielding a knife was searching vehicles.

When three Ogden patrol cars with four officers arrived on scene shortly before 9 p.m., they approached the man, later identified as Mercado, who was reportedly holding a knife. This is where the video begins.

As the video begins, there is a moment where there is no audio before the officer, whose identity was not available as of Wednesday afternoon, appears to push a button to activate the sound recording on the body camera. The officer appears to already have his gun out and pointed at Mercado.

Officers begin yelling for Mercado to put down what police believe to be a knife in his hand. Mercado is standing at the back of what appears to be a garage structure and walks toward officers as they continue to shout instructions. Separating the officers and Mercado is a fence, with a gate partially open.

Mercado continues to walk toward the officers, and the police continue to shout commands. The officer wearing the body camera, as well as the other officers, back up away from the fence.

As Mercado walks past the opening in the fence, officers open fire. Mercado falls to the ground and rolls onto his back, which is where the video ends.

Mercado was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

WARNING: THIS VIDEO MAY NOT BE APPROPRIATE FOR ALL AUDIENCES

Ogden Police Chief Randy Watt said in a press conference hours after the shooting that all four officers who were called to the scene fired their service weapons.

Mercado’s death prompted backlash from the community, calling for additional measures and steps for police to take before using lethal force. A week after the shooting, dozens of people assembled in front of the Police Department and voiced their frustration with police, while many others remembered their father, brother and friend killed.

“We lost a family member because the police choose to fire their weapons as a first course of action when there are so many nonlethal ways to apprehend someone,” said Juan Mercado, Jovany’s father.

Days later, locals also voiced their frustrations to the Ogden City Council, demanding that officials take action to limit the use of deadly force by police officers. City officials declined to make a solid commitment at the meeting, but Chief Administrative Officer Mark Johnson said a more detailed conversation would take place among city officials.

Mercado’s death marked the second fatal police shooting in Weber County in 2019. The first fatal police shooting took place at a Roy clinic when a man was seen reportedly broke into the building. The man, later identified as 37-year-old Clearfield man Donald Lee Joseph, was shot and killed by an Ogden Police officer after reportedly ran at officers with a knife in his hand.

Prior to the fatal shooting, police attempted to subdue Joseph with bean bag rounds. Footage of the fatal shooting was made public on Aug. 30.

In addition to the pair of fatal shootings, there have been three non-fatal shootings to take place in the county thus far in 2019. The non-fatal police shootings have taken place in Harrisville, West Haven and Riverdale.

Jacob Scholl is the Cops and Courts Reporter for the Standard-Examiner. Email him at jscholl@standard.net and follow him on Twitter at @Jacob_Scholl.

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