Utah police release body camera footage from fatal Farmington shooting
FARMINGTON, Utah —Body camera footage shows the traffic stop that in minutes escalated into a fatal shooting by five officers that left a 25-year-old Utah man dead.
Farmington Police Department released a compilation of some of the body-worn and car dashboard camera footage from five of its officers who shot and killed Chase Allan a week ago.
The footage, shared by Farmington PD Chief Eric Johnsen, was compiled from the five officers who each fired shots through a passenger car, along with some still images of some body-worn footage after the initial shooting. Footage after the shots fired was not shown at the press conference. The unedited video, later reviewed by KSL, showed the dying shooting victim.
UPDATE NOTE: KSL has watched the unedited versions of all five officer-worn body cameras. We are choosing not to share the full video. Additional details are included at the end of this story.
Allan was given medical treatment and later declared dead. In a statement his family called the shooting a “brutal murder.” The investigation of the shooting is being done by Davis County’s team that investigates the use of deadly force by police.
The audio from the footage records the conversation between Allan and the officer who initially stopped him for suspicion of not having a legal license plate displayed on his car. Allan told the officer he did not have authority to stop him but did provide a passport as identification, after initially hesitating to do so.
After other officers arrived one informed Allan that if he didn’t step out of the car his window would be broken and he would be pulled out. While his door was open, officers appeared to reach into the car and shouts of “Gun, gun, gun,” could be heard as the officers stepped back and fired a number of rounds through the vehicle.
Johnson answered media questions after the compilation video was shown.
“I see police officers that made a lawful and reasonable traffic stop,” Johnsen said. “Unfortunately I then see things go a really tragic direction.”
NOTE: The video people includes footage from the shooting. Viewer discretion is advised.
The video highlighted still images of what appeared to be a holster on Allan’s hip and a gun on the driver’s side of the car after the shooting. Two days after the shooting, police released a statement that Allan had a gun in the car and that an officer yelled “gun, gun, gun!”
A call of “cease fire” can also be heard after a volley of shots was fired into the vehicle. Bullet holes were visible on the diver side front window, rear window and a window on the passenger side of the car.
In the conversation leading up to the shooting, the initial officer speaks with Allan before calling for backup, a point that was subject to speculation in the public before the footage was released.
“There has been an allegation that backup was called for prior to the stop; that is absolutely untrue,” Johnsen said.
The stopping officer informed Allan that he was being detained and would be required to show identification.
“You are lawfully required to identify yourself. The direction this encounter goes is 100 percent in your hands,” the office can be heard to say on the video. Allan shows him a passport through a partially rolled down window and eventually hands it to the officer.
“Do you want to identify yourself to me or do you want to go a different route?” the officer said.
After identifying him with the passport the confrontation seems to escalate.
Officer: “Step out of the car for me.”
Officer: “Step out of this vehicle right now.”
Allan: “I am not required to.”
The command to step out is repeated by police and while Allan and officers are talking over each other, Allan seems to say they are going to have an issue, a point Johnsen emphasized in the press conference. He also said that Allan transfers his cell phone from his right hand to his left hand.
“At this stage you can clearly see his holster as he moves his coat back,” Johnsen said. He said Allan’s hand could be seen on his right hip.
“If you don’t step out of the vehicle we are going to break the window and pull you out,” an officer tells Allan.
One officer’s body is mostly inside the car while his legs are still outside when “gun” is first vocalized by police. The officers step back and fire at that point. At the press conference multiple cameras were shown from multiple officers. Johnsen said what he saw on the video was a response by officers to a gun that was not in a holster.
Three or more shouts of “cease fire, cease fire, cease fire!” can be heard. The video at the press conference played just moments past that point and stills were used to highlight the holster and gun.
“To be clear, police have not said ‘maybe we have messed up,’ ” Johnsen said.
He said Farmington police have not had contact with the family but Bountiful Police Department has attempted to contact them. He said they were offered a chance to see the footage.
He also said that body cameras were shut off for the efficiency of those who would be investigating the shooting.
UPDATE: In addition to the edited video presented by Farmington police, the full videos were made available to media as part of a public records request. They were reviewed by KSL and portions will be shared on air and on social media. Some further details are included below.
Dozens of shots were fired in total. Immediately after calls of “cease fire,” officers yelled for Allan to put his hands up. He was unresponsive with one foot out of the car through a partially opened door. Officers cautiously approached the car, with weapons still drawn, removed him from the driver’s seat and handcuffed him face down on the pavement. His jacket covered his head and shoulders.
Once Allan was cuffed officers checked with each other to find all had fired and none of them were injured.
“Did he shoot?” one officer can be heard asking.
“I don’t have any (expletive) idea,” another responds.
Non-shooting officers arrive and relieve the officers involved in the shooting, who made an attempt at first aid, before being relieved. Officers reported a possible head wound and multiple chest wounds. Allan was also blurred in this footage after the shooting.
Officers who fired were asked if they were OK, instructed to drop any evidence, were separated and invited to sit with other officers in patrol cars.
The entire confrontation lasted less than five minutes.
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