Man sues American Fork Police Department after claims of excessive force
SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah — A Salt Lake County man has filed a lawsuit against the American Fork Police Department, claiming he was wrongfully beaten and bloodied during an arrest two years ago.
Cody Greenland, 38, and his attorney say the proof is in the body cam video, which they released Tuesday morning during a press conference in Salt Lake City.
“This was an outrageous violation of his civil rights,” said Robert Sykes, Greenland’s attorney. “There were no aggressive statements or actions, nor threats (by Greenland toward officers).”
It was April 2020 when Greenland says he was in a Target parking lot in American Fork, waiting for his girlfriend, when suddenly, he was swarmed by several American Fork police officers. They were allegedly looking for a man who was breaking into cars and thought it was him.
Greenland says he had no idea why they swarmed him.
“I’ve been arrested in the past; I know what happens if you don’t comply, so I did exactly what they were asking,” Greenland said.
One of the body cam videos shows Greenland with his hands in the air.
You can also see him kneel on the ground. As soon as he kneels on the ground, that’s when you see another officer come up running from behind and body slam him to the pavement.
Greenland and Sykes say that’s where officers crossed the line.
“I got hit in the spine with his knee; it knocked the wind out of me instantly. All I could think of is stop, don’t, and try and protect my face,” Greenland said.
In the video, you can hear the officers say, “You are not complying, that’s why these things are happening…. Problem is, when we told you to get down on the ground, you didn’t get down on the ground. Then, you started resisting. That’s why you were tazed.”
Greenland then screamed back, “I did… listen. I did not (resist).”
“No you didn’t,” the officer replied.
— Dan Rascon (@TVDanRascon) March 2, 2022
“Tackle a guy from behind who is on his knees with his hands up — I’d like to know the justification for that outrageous act,” Sykes said.
Greenland admits he wasn’t a good guy at the time and did have drugs on him. In fact, he’s had trouble with the law most of his life, but he says officers did not know that and still had no right to do what they did. He says he’s now drug free and he has a job helping others who are on drugs get help.
The American Fork Police Department told KSL TV Tuesday afternoon that they would not comment because it is an active lawsuit.
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