CRIME

Cottonwood Heights Officials Say Alleged Video Of Zane James Shooting Does Not Exist

Aug 24, 2020, 3:25 PM | Updated: 8:26 pm
FILE PHOTO...
FILE PHOTO (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The city of Cottonwood Heights filed a motion Monday saying a claim from the family of Zane James, which alleges the city was covering up body camera video of the fatal shooting, is untrue.

The family filed a motion on Aug. 13 that claimed there is evidence to show officer Casey Davies was wearing a body-camera in 2018 when he shot and killed 19-year-old Zane James.

“It is the video of our son being shot by officer Davies on his own camera,” Tiffany James said on the day the motion was filed. “He immediately started covering up the crime.”

The Davies family filed the motion to force the city to release the alleged video footage.

However, city officials have maintained Davies was not wearing a body camera.

James said two city councilors told her the video existed, but she did not identify any individuals who provided the alleged information.

“The city has investigated this claim and thus far found it to be untrue,” said attorney Heather White, who is representing the city of Cottonwood Heights, in a prepared statement Monday.

The statement also showed an image of Davies’ chest, which city officials said confirms Davies’ body camera plate did not have a camera attached.

Cottonwood Heights officials said this image from another officer’s body camera shows officer Davies’ body camera plate, with no camera attached during the incident. (city of Cottonwood Heights)

Cottonwoods Heights police explained Davies was not wearing a camera because he was driving to work to begin his shift when the shooting occurred. Police said his camera was at city hall.

Davies reportedly saw James running as he drove to work. James had allegedly committed two robberies.

“Additionally, the city has reached out to the individuals the Jameses claim may have information about the alleged missing recording, including the chief of police, several officers (including the shooting officer), the city manager at the time of the incident, the current city manager, the mayor, all current city councilmembers, a former city councilmember in office at the time of the shooting, the city attorney and the city recorder and records officer,” White said in the statement.

The release said all but one of those officials have signed sworn statements attesting they never viewed a video of the actual shooting.

“The remaining city council member, Tali Bruce, has informed the city she believes she saw video footage of the actual shooting of Zane James during a closed session of a city council meeting,” White said. “However, council member Bruce declined to provide a sworn declaration to that effect.”

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Cottonwood Heights Officials Say Alleged Video Of Zane James Shooting Does Not Exist