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Police brutality lawsuit filed against American Fork officers

Posted at 11:36 AM, Mar 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-01 23:25:53-05

AMERICAN FORK, Utah — Nearly two years after an incident leading to his arrest in American Fork, a man has filed a federal lawsuit against the police officers who arrested him, as well as the police department itself.

In his lawsuit, Cody Greenland claims the officers used excessive force while attempting to arrest him near the parking lot of a Target on April 17, 2020. The lawsuit also accuses the American Fork officers of outrageous and conscience shocking conduct and unlawful or deficient protocols.

According to the lawsuit, Greenland was in the parking lot when police responded to a call of an unidentified male possibly breaking into cars. Greenland said he was at the location after his mother dropped him off at the Target where his girlfriend worked, and that he was carrying a duffel bag of personal items after being kicked out of his apartment.

Body cam video below shows an officer tackling Greenland from behind

Bodycam Video

After unsuccessfully attempting to call his girlfriend with his mother's phone, Greenland said he tried to put the bag inside his girlfriend's car, but it was locked.

Officers confronted Greenland when he returned from a nearby store to buy food. Body cam video shows Greenland complying with officers demands and getting on his knees with his hands up.

While still on his knees, an officer can be seen jumping on Greenland from behind. The other officers approach and attempt to place handcuffs on Greenland as he continually yells, "I'm good, I'm good!"

During the incident, Greenland, who was not armed at the time, asks the officers to stop while they're on top of him. One officer uses a Taser weapon on Greenland, who says, "Don't tase me no more."

Officers were eventually able to place handcuffs on a bloodied Greenland who claims in the lawsuit that he suffered a concussion, memory loss, ringing in his ears, several broken fingers and PTSD.

“I had no idea what they were there for until I was beaten and bloodied,” said Greenland during a media conference Tuesday to announce the lawsuit.

Greenland adds that two years later, the incident still haunts him.

"I still totally avoid that area, and my kids are scared to drive through American Fork city; stuff that I've known my whole life," he said.

Following the incident, Greenland was arrested for possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and interference with a police officer.

The American Fork Police Department has yet to respond to the lawsuit.

Robert Sykes, Greenland's attorney, did not announce a monetary amount they are looking to obtain, saying that will be determined later.

But more than money, Greenland hopes something else will come out of his lawsuit.

"I mean, honestly, it would be great if they would give the police the right training. I want to continue to help people and just spend the time with my family and not have any worries that this is going to continue on or happen again."