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Ogden Police investigating use of force after officers seen punching man on ground

Posted at 2:46 PM, Apr 23, 2023

OGDEN, Utah — The Ogden Police Department is conducting an investigation after a video was shared on social media showing multiple officers striking a man who appeared to be pinned down.

The video shows four officers kneeling either on or around the man, with two of them delivering punches. It happened on the side of Washington Blvd. near 18th Street.

In a Gofundme campaign, the family later identified the man as Shawn and said he suffered several serious injuries as a result of the incident.

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"Shawn has suffered a broken nose, fractured jaw, broken orbital sockets and complete loss of vision in one of his eyes," family said in the Gofundme. "The possibility of him getting his vision back is very very slim."

Family members said they are raising money to pay for an attorney, "to fight the criminal behavior of those officers," the campaign reads.

North Ogden resident Keaton Fuller, who caught the incident on camera Saturday evening around 6 p.m., said the man was initially backing away from an officer in a patrol car.

"Then, a second later, the man tried booking it across the street, while the police just came and chased him over right over here," said Fuller.

The officer got out of their vehicle, then Fuller said the man looked like he was getting ready to fight, and other officers showed up.

That's when Fuller says he pulled out his phone and started recording.

"When I look back up, next thing I know there were like four cops already on top of him pinned down," said Fuller. "I have no idea what he did or if he had any lethal stuff, but the cops were definitely throwing some blows at him."

FOX 13 News reached out to the department and received this statement in response:

"The Ogden Police Department is aware of a use of force incident involving our officers, which a bystander filmed. The department had begun an After-Action Use of Force investigation prior to the release of the bystander video. We will report those findings and all available Body Worn Camera footage as soon as possible."

Chris Bertram, a retired deputy chief with the Unified Police Department, spoke to FOX 13 News about the video.

"Through my career in 25 years, we were taught to do distraction strikes, and I think that's another important discussion as to what those officers have been trained to do," said Bertram.

What isn't clear in the video, Bertram says, is whether the man on the ground was handcuffed at the time or not.

"If this individual, this is prior to handcuffing... our training was consistent with, you know, strikes or distractions prior to being taken into custody," said Bertram. "If the individual is in handcuffs, then that goes to a completely different level because that is a civil rights violation."

He says it is important to note that this video only captures a moment in time.

"There's something that happened before that that led up to those officers using the force, and then there's something that happened after it. There's going to be an outcome, you know, an arrest, charges, things like that. We're going want to know everything in that context," said Bertram.

At this point it is not known what crime, if any, the man was suspected of committing, nor whether he was seriously injured during this incident.