Police video of deadly encounter exhibits lack of de-escalation

A caller to 911 in Salt Lake Metropolis mentioned a person had come right into a brewery in his underwear, tried to steal beer and was operating round on the street, posing a hazard to himself and to drivers. Police tried to detain the person. Quickly, Nykon Brandon was useless.

After the Salt Lake Metropolis Police Division on Friday launched body-camera footage of the Aug. 14 deadly encounter and the 911 recording, activists on Saturday have been asking why an unarmed particular person wound up useless and have been accusing police of utilizing disproportionate pressure.

“Stealing a beer doesn’t equate to the loss of life penalty,” mentioned Lex Scott, founding father of Black Lives Matter-Utah. “I don’t care if this man robbed 10 banks in someday. He didn’t should die. He deserved to make it to courtroom.”

The loss of life of Brandon, who was 35, comes as the US remains to be seeing uncounted numbers of police killings of unarmed folks, a lot of whom have been struggling a psychological well being disaster. Activists have referred to as for reforms, saying somewhat than armed police who can typically escalate conditions, a greater resolution could be for particular psychological well being disaster groups to reply.

Brandon’s Fb web page says he’d attended Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and labored for a agency that sells home equipment, plumbing and {hardware}. Many individuals who posted on his web page expressed shock and grief over his loss of life.

The 911 caller mentioned a person had come to Fisher Brewing, attacked an individual on the door and was “operating round loopy. Very erratic. He simply jumped out and in of the highway.”

“Undoubtedly psychological well being points,” the caller mentioned. “So when you’ve bought psychological well being sources, ship them out.”

As a substitute, bodycam footage exhibits a police officer get out of his patrol automobile and order Brandon to cease. When he resists and places up a fist and seems to achieve for the officer’s holstered pistol, one other officer pushes Brandon to the bottom and the 2 officers attempt to pin him down. “Cease,” one of many officers says repeatedly as Brandon is on a gravel mattress between the highway and the sidewalk and persevering with to push in opposition to the officers.

No de-escalation makes an attempt by the police are seen or audible within the footage from 9 body-worn cameras, although an government order signed by Salt Lake Metropolis Mayor Erin Mendenhall two years in the past requires all Salt Lake Metropolis Police Division officers to make use of de-escalation methods earlier than utilizing pressure.

“De-escalation ways are now not steered or most popular — they’re necessary previous to utilizing pressure to impact an arrest until it might be unreasonable to take action,” Mendenhall mentioned in saying the police reforms, which have been prompted partly by the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police in 2020.

Salt Lake Metropolis Police Division spokesperson Brent Weisberg mentioned of the Aug. 14 incident: “Because the body-worn digicam video exhibits, it is a state of affairs that quickly unfolded. It was a chaotic state of affairs and our officers have been required to make very quick choices to get a state of affairs underneath management that was very tense.”

Earlier than Brandon walked into Fisher Brewing, he had been taken by South Salt Lake Police to a detox facility after they obtained a report of a person appearing confused and scared at a park simply after 1 p.m. on Aug. 14, KUTV reported.

Officers decided he was intoxicated, took him to the power and cited him for public intoxication. However the facility shouldn’t be a detention middle and sufferers can go away at their will, KUTV reported.

The Salt Lake Metropolis Police Division officers encountered Brandon at 3:22 p.m. Within the movies, he isn’t heard talking throughout his struggles with the officers, aside from possibly a few phrases which might be unclear.

A minute later, a 3rd officer arrives. Video exhibits Brandon grabbing onto his holster and gun. They lastly handle to cuff Brandon’s palms behind his again as he lies on the gravel stomach down.

“We need to show you how to,” an officer says. “You have to cease combating with us.”

After a number of seconds, Brandon stops shifting. An officer faucets Brandon on the shoulder together with his gloved hand and asks “Are you able to hear me?” 3 times. Brandon doesn’t reply.

“Get him in restoration,” an officer instructions, and the others roll Brandon onto his aspect.

“Come on man,” an officer says. All of the digicam footage launched by the police goes darkish at that time.

Salt Lake Metropolis Police mentioned in a press launch that officers started to carry out medical help at 3:27 p.m. A minute later, they administered the primary of a number of doses of Narcan and began performing chest compressions.

“At 4:16 p.m. SLCPD is notified that Mr. Brandon died. The precise time of loss of life is unknown,” the information launch mentioned.

The police division mentioned an intensive investigation was being carried out by an outdoor company and that the division’s personal inner affairs unit would conduct a separate investigation.

Rae Duckworth, working chairperson for Black Lives Matter’s Utah chapters, desires to know why the launched footage does not present the officers making an attempt to assist Brandon.

“We do not even have proof they really administered help. We don’t have proof that they really administered Narcan,” Duckworth mentioned.

Weisberg, the police spokesperson, mentioned footage of the resuscitation efforts was not launched out of consideration for Brandon’s household.

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