Video Allegedly Shows UPD Officer Berating Snowboarders Accused Of Trespassing
Apr 13, 2020, 9:09 PM | Updated: 9:12 pm
BRIGHTON, Utah – An officer with the Unified Police Department has been accused of stepping over the line while responding to an alleged trespassing incident at Brighton Ski Resort.
Brighton was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, along with every other ski resort in Utah. But the snowboarders involved in the incident said they were just parked in the parking lot and claimed they were snowboarding on private property.
A cell phone video of the incident showed an officer berating one of the snowboarders.
The video started out with the police officer yelling, “Trespassing is trespassing! Do you understand me there? Do you understand me there? Do you understand me?”
The video was posted on Instagram and has been viewed 15,000 times so far.
The snowboarder in the video asked the officer to please stand six feet away.
The officer responds with, “I do not need to give you a social distance do you understand that? You invited this on yourself and you’re asking for it. Do not ask me for any favors, Mr. Lockwood! Do you understand that? You stand there and you shut your (expletive) mouth and I’ll be right back.”
We do not know what happened leading up to the video confrontation. Neither do police investigators.
The Unified Police Department Internal Affairs Division was investigating the incident.
“We have not been able to look into the entire incident at this time,” said UPD Sergeant Melody Gray. “Sheriff Rivera has made a very public comment that we do not condone this type of language from our officers.”
Unified police authorities said they have instructed their officers to take extra precautions because of COVID-19. Officers all have personal protective equipment, try to limit contact and maintain distance when they can. But that’s not always possible.
“We are still police officers. There are things we do have to do that’s going to essentially violate social distancing. We can’t put handcuffs on someone from 6 feet away,” Gray said.
In the video, the officer was less than six feet away, but whether or not he should have been was up to investigators to decide.
The snowboarders said in the end, they were not cited for trespassing by the officer.