COURTS & LEGAL

Body camera footage released of 2018 incident involving Provo man killed in FBI shooting

Aug 18, 2023, 7:38 PM | Updated: Aug 19, 2023, 2:13 pm

PROVO, Utah — Police have released new body camera video from an encounter years before a Provo man was shot and killed by FBI agents for threatening President Joe Biden’s life and pointing a handgun at agents on Aug. 9.

The incident stems from a confrontation in August 2018 when two Google Fiber workers attempted to contact Robertson. When he didn’t answer his door, the workers entered his backyard to access the public utility pole. The workers told police they were there to connect a neighbor to the fiber network, but the neighbor wasn’t home. So they went to notify the owner that they would be using the public easement to access the utility pole.

A police report says Robertson then came out of his back door holding a gun and yelled at them to leave, which they did.

“I turn around and he’s ‘Get the **** off my property,’ waiving his gun, and I’m like, OK,” one of the workers told police.

Police then knocked on Robertson’s door. “He answered the door with an AR-15 which triggered a bit of a standoff,” the report states.

“Put the gun down,” an officer is heard saying on the body camera footage.

“Speak to me,” Robertson replies.

“I am here to talk to you about how you threatened somebody with a gun,” the officer answers.

“While I was speaking with (Robertson) while he had his rifle I observed that he was holding it in a ready position against his body with his finger on the trigger guard which led me to believe he had trained with firearms and was aware of where his muzzle was and how to control the weapon while moving,” the report said.

The officer was able to de-escalate the situation, and Robertson put the rifle away before coming outside. Officers explained to him that they responded with force because of the call involving a gun.

Part of Robertson’s conversation with an officer was captured via body camera.

“You gotta understand that we have to respond accordingly, sir,” the officer says.

“Listen, if I want to take you out, I’ve got a new M-24 sniper rifle, you would’ve never made it here,” Robertson said.

“That’s probably not a good thing to say to us,” the officer responds.

“No I’m just telling you,” Robertson says.

Robertson told officers he always answers his door with a gun and is heavily armed. “The way things are nowadays, you let your guard down, you’re screwed,” he said. “You guys, like I say, you guys are freaking targets for the idiots and the nutcases.”

The officer stood by while the workers finished their job at the home, and Robertson said he understood what they had to do.

“We just appreciate you being cooperative with us and letting us work through it and figure out what’s going on,” the officer says.

The police report said the officer discussed the case with a police sergeant and found that no crime had occurred, and Robertson “had been exercising his 2nd Amendment rights, albeit a little recklessly.”

The sergeant agreed and the two called the on-call Utah County Attorney to get input. “She agreed that (Robertson) may not have exercised good judgment but was acting within his constitutional rights,” the report stated.

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Body camera footage released of 2018 incident involving Provo man killed in FBI shooting