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Enoch City Police go against Iron County Attorney, say use of force by officer justified

Posted at 3:54 PM, Aug 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-07 21:37:45-04

ENOCH CITY, Utah – The Enoch City Use of Force Review Board released its findings on an officer-involved shooting that took place in Parowan in June, when an officer shot a female suspect three times in the knee while she was allegedly threatening officers with a screwdriver.

In a letter released Monday, the Iron County Attorney’s Office said that Cpl. Jeremy Dunn of Enoch City Police used force that was not legally justified, but “the State would not be able to prove the requisite criminal intent for a criminal charge.”

In a press release made by the Enoch City Use of Force Review Board Tuesday, the board went against the Iron County Attorney’s Office, saying that Dunn’s use of force was within department policy.

According to the board, Dunn was dispatched to a call from Cedar City Dispatch to assist the Parowan Police Department on a burglary in progress at a truck stop. After arriving on the scene and confronting two suspects, Dunn fired his gun at a suspect, wounding her right knee.

The Enoch Use of Force Review Board conducted an investigation and administrative review of the incident and watched 44 minutes of body cam footage to during its investigation.

A portion of the body cam footage can be seen below:

WARNING: The video below contains graphic content. Viewer discretion advised. 

The review board released a factual background of its review and determination:

When Dunn arrived on-scene, he found Parowan City Police Sergeant Mike Berg with his gun drawn, standing behind the open side door of his truck, the board said.

Berg, who Dunn stated did not have a taser or body armor on him, was standing behind the door approximately 10 to 15 feet away from the two burglary suspects.

Dunn allegedly stopped 15 feet away from the suspects with his stun gun in the “low-ready” position, the board wrote. Dunn asked a female suspect, identified by the Iron County Attorney’s Office as Ivonne Casimiro, to drop a screwdriver that she was allegedly brandishing.

“Repeated requests and commands from both Cpl. Dunn and Sgt. Berg were made to the suspect to drop her weapon,” the board wrote. “The female suspect refused to comply.”

After advising Casimiro to not leave the scene, Casimiro allegedly told Dunn to, “go ahead and blow,” and, “see what happens,” the review board said.

Dunn allegedly responded to the Casimiro’s statements, saying, “I guarantee I’ll smoke ya.”

Dunn allegedly deployed his Taser twice on Casimiro, but both deployments were unsuccessful in subduing her. The review board said that Casimiro then appeared to bring the screwdriver she was wielding “up and across her chest as if to load a swing,” at which point Dunn fired three rounds at Casimiro’s legs.

“Cpl. Dunn immediately pushed the female suspect to her stomach and proceeded to apply handcuffs,” the review board wrote.  “Cpl. Dunn applied a tourniquet to the female suspect’s right leg. EMS arrived on scene and commenced medical services on the wounded suspect. During the next 60 minutes, multiple law enforcement personnel arrived on the scene and began conducting support functions and an investigation of the incident. At his earliest opportunity, Cpl. Dunn called Enoch City Police Chief Jackson Ames. The Iron County Critical Incident Task Force (CITF) was activated per policy.”

After giving a factual background of the events surrounding Dunn using his weapon, the review board released its conclusion, saying that Dunn was responding to an “immediate and severe threat,” to those involved in the incident, and was acting within department standards.

Dunn is currently on administrative leave “until a determination can be made in compliance with and by all relevant agencies,” the review board said.