Woods Cross Officer Will Not Be Disciplined For Holding 10-Year-Old At Gunpoint
WOODS CROSS, Utah – The Chief of Police for Woods Cross offered a public apology to the 10-year-old boy who had a gun pulled on him by one of his officers. He also apologized to his mother and family.
“First we would like to sincerely apologize to DJ and his mother for what happened,” said Chief Chad Soffe at the beginning of a press conference. “We are truly sorry.”
But the chief still says his officer did nothing wrong when he mistook young DJ Hrubas for one of the armed and dangerous suspects he was searching for involved in a shooting in Centerville.
“He did not violate any of our procedures or policies and we are not looking at termination of this officer who is a seasoned veteran of police work and the Woods Cross Police Department, said Soffe. “This was a multi-agency response to the report of a violent crime of the use of a firearm by the suspects we were looking for.”
The incident broke out early Thursday afternoon in Centerville. Police were looking for several suspects after several victims came forward saying they were getting shot at.
Chief Soffe went through the police log of what his officer was hearing at the time that he pulled over and confronted DJ who is African American.
“12:41 a white car is trying to hit people. 12:42 a black male driving the white vehicle. 12:44 two black males in the white car. 12:44 teenagers running through the park saying someone had a gun,” read Soffe.
That’s when the officer, who KSL is choosing not to name because he has not been accused or charged with a crime, see’s DJ in the yard.
“Our officer pulls over tells the young man that he wants to talk to him, the young man looks at him and starts to run across the front lawn. Our officer grabs his gun and gives his commands for the young man to get on the ground thinking this is one of the suspects we are looking for,” said Soffe.
According to DJ, his mother and two other witnesses KSL spoke with the officer held the gun to the boy’s head. The police department has denied that happened. The Chief says it could have appeared that way because of the angle.
“It very well could have been pointed at the boy, yes, when he went down to the ground in the low ready position is forward at about a 45 degree angle so yes, as he went to the ground it could have been pointed at him. But it is not our training to point the gun at anyone’s head,” said the Chief.
The chief says he is asking for an independent review by the Davis County Attorney’s office in response from the mother and the NAACP asking that one takes place.
But he called it a review not an “investigation” like the mother was wanting. He says its not the policy of the police department to call for an investigation when the officer does not discharge his firearm.
The Chief of police from Centerville also spoke at the press conference. “We care very much about our minority population, we realize this is a white area,” said Chief Paul Child. “We care about them, we want them to feel safe, we value them in our community.”
After the press conference, organizers of Black Lives Matter Utah again called for the officer involved in the incident to be fired immediately.
“They have yet to tell the same story twice,” Josianne Petit of Black Lives Matter Utah said of the Woods Cross Police Department’s version of events.
The president of the NAACP for Idaho, Nevada and Utah said she wants a full investigation, not just a review of what happened.
“I think an investigation would take it maybe a little further into looking at exactly, step by step, everything that occurred,” Williams said.
An attorney for the Hrubes family says she also has concerns about the planned review and whether it will include new interviews from eyewitnesses.
“I’m confused because I don’t even know how they can review something until there has been a determination of what actually happened,” said attorney Karra Porter. “We’ve heard several different versions of what supposedly happened from the city itself.”
The Davis County Attorney’s Office said Monday it wasn’t prepared to comment on the scope of this review or how long it will take.
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