Ogden Family Says Video Evidence Shows Police Didn’t Have To Use Lethal Force
OGDEN, Utah – Family members of a man who was shot and killed by police in Ogden said they have video evidence showing their son should never have been shot.
“It was an assassination, what they did,” said Juan Marcado, the father of Jovany Mercado, who was shot and killed outside his home on August 19. “They came to execute someone. They came to kill someone that night.”
Bodycam video released by Ogden police after the shooting shows 26-year-old Jovany Mercado walking up the driveway towards officers with a knife in his hand. Officers can be heard shouting, “Drop that knife! Police! Drop it!”
About 20 seconds later officers opened fire. Officials said four officers fired their weapons, each hitting Mercado, who was pronounced dead at the scene.
Ogden Police Chief Steven Watt told media and the city council he stood by his officers and believed they were justified in what they did because Mercado had a knife, was coming at officers and refused to put it down.
Mercado’s parents and their attorneys showed home surveillance video of their son at a press conference Monday. They said it shows why he should have never been shot.
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“There flashing these lights at him, family attorney Mario Arras said. “He’s walking towards the lights not jumping, not aggressively waving at them, and they open fire They shoot, he goes down and they keep shooting.”
“He didn’t throw [the knife] down as ordered, but it doesn’t justify a death sentence. The police are not entitled to kill somebody because they are noncompliant,” said attorney Robert Sykes, who has represented other families in officer-involved shootings. “What we are trying to say here, you see no aggression. He’s not lunging, he’s not throwing, he’s not making any threating motion whatsoever towards the officers, he’s peaceful…it’s unconstitutional to use force under those conditions.”
The Mercados said police could have easily stopped their son a different way.
“They have pepper spray, yes they have batons, tasers, there are a lot of other means they could have stopped this. They didn’t care about the safety of my family. They were maniacs the way they were shooting they could have killed someone else,” said Juan Mercado.
Sykes said he believes they have a solid case and have sent a letter to Watt, asking the city to settle out of court and make changes to its training.
Mercado said he plans to be at every weekly city council meeting until changes are made.
Weber County Attorney Chris Allred said, “although Ogden PD has completed their internal investigation, we have not completed our investigation.” Allred said he anticipates it will be another month or so before they have completed their review.
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