Utah man files lawsuit, saying officer tackled him, beat him as he was kneeling


Cody Greenland watches physique digicam video of his arrest in 2020 from his legal professional’s workplace in Salt Lake Metropolis on Tuesday. Greenland stated he was kneeling along with his arms within the air when he was tackled from behind with out provocation by an officer who ran up behind him. Greenland is now suing the American Fork Police Division. (Pat Reavy, KSL.com)

Estimated learn time: 6-7 minutes

AMERICAN FORK — Cody Greenland was uncertain what was taking place when three American Fork law enforcement officials abruptly converged on him with their Tasers drawn in a retailer parking zone.

In police physique digicam video, Greenland has a glance of shock on his face as he holds a bag of meals in a single hand and a bottle of Mountain Dew within the different. Greenland, nonetheless, complied with the instructions of officers, put his arms within the air and knelt on the bottom with each knees, although he continued to query what he had accomplished.

Only a few seconds later, a fourth American Fork police officer, D.T. Cannon — who had simply arrived on the scene, in response to courtroom paperwork — got here operating on the West Jordan man and tackled him from behind.

“I may really feel officer Cannon coming. I may hear his tools on him jiggling and I may really feel one thing coming. I do not know should you’ve ever been tackled with out pads or something — I bought hit within the backbone by his knee. It like knocked the wind out of me immediately. All I may consider was to inform them, ‘Cease!’ ‘Do not!’ And attempt to shield my face as a result of he was immediately punching me within the head and face,” Greenland recalled.

Greenland, whose face was bloodied each from being punched and hitting the pavement, stated that he nonetheless has a continuing ringing in his ears from the beating, has short-term reminiscence loss and has a tough time concentrating — and suffers from post-traumatic stress dysfunction. Greenland admits he has had struggles previously with dependancy, which has gotten him in hassle with the regulation. However he stated he has by no means been handled like that.

“I have been arrested previously. I do know what occurs when you do not comply. I did precisely what they had been asking, and I used to be attempting to get them to inform me what I might accomplished flawed,” he stated.

Tuesday, Greenland alongside along with his legal professional, Robert Sykes, introduced a federal lawsuit this week in opposition to Cannon, the American Fork Police Division, town, and several other different American Fork law enforcement officials. Greenland, 38, claims his constitutional rights had been violated by police, saying they used extreme drive, made an illegal seizure, and several other officers did not intervene and stop Cannon from attacking him.

The American Fork Police Division stated Tuesday it was simply studying of the lawsuit and didn’t instantly have a remark.

On April 17, 2020, Greenland had been kicked out of the house he was dwelling in and was looking for his girlfriend. She informed him she was procuring at Goal, 57 N. 700 West, in American Fork. Greenland bought a journey to the parking zone. He had all his belongings with him in a few duffle baggage and trash baggage.

He discovered his girlfriend’s automotive within the parking zone, however she was not there and the automotive was locked. Greenland left his baggage on the automotive and went to a close-by retailer. Within the meantime, police acquired a number of experiences of a person attempting to get into vehicles into the parking zone, in response to charging paperwork,

Greenland had simply exited a retailer after shopping for meals and was “armed with a bottle of Mountain Dew,” Sykes stated, and was strolling again to his girlfriend’s automotive when three officers converged on him. Sykes stated his consumer was not armed and was cooperative.

“There have been no aggressive assertion or actions,” he stated.

Based on charging paperwork, Greenland “assumed a defensive combating stance” and “wouldn’t obey officers’ instructions.” But in police physique digicam video he seems to be kneeling along with his arms within the air.

Within the video, moments after kneeling on the bottom, Cannon tackles Greenland. Greenland could be heard yelling repeatedly on the officers, “I am good” and “Cease!”

Surrounding officers twice deployed Tasers on him as they tried to place him in handcuffs. Greenland stored telling the officers, “Do not tase me no extra, dude,” and “Do not hit me like that man” whereas asking a number of occasions, “What am I being arrested for?”

“You guys hate me or one thing? Why do you hate me?” Greenland asks within the video recording.

“You are not criticism,” an officer is heard telling Greenland.

When Greenland states that he was being compliant, an officer is heard replying with an obscenity.

Greenland did have medication in his pockets and was finally charged in 4th District Courtroom with a number of counts of drug possession as properly and interfering with an arrest.

When he was arrested, American Fork police famous of their reserving affidavit that “Greenland pulled away from officers as they made preliminary contact. He then refused verbal instructions. Whereas officers tried to detain Greenland, he continued to withstand and was tased.”

Greenland stated Tuesday he was not resisting, however his pure intuition was to guard his face, after which he was hit with a Taser, inflicting him to briefly lose the use his arms.

“You are locking up on the similar time you are attempting to defend your self. You possibly can’t transfer your arms, you’ll be able to’t reply to what they’re telling you to do if you’re being tased like that and punched within the face and head on the similar time. I might say that he punched me 30 occasions,” he stated, whereas additionally including that certainly one of his arms was stomped on.

Regardless that police discovered Greenland had medication in his pockets, they’d no motive to go looking him, in response to Sykes. After the case went to courtroom, a movement was filed by Greenland’s protection legal professional for proof to be suppressed and the costs in opposition to him had been finally dismissed.

Greenland had a number of different circumstances pending in opposition to him at the moment. He admits he had medication on that day and that he had been combating dependancy for a few years. However that didn’t give police the best to deal with and use Tasers on him, he stated.

“I do know that my report appears dangerous. And as you’ll be able to see within the video, they did discover medication on me, which nonetheless would not justify them punching me within the face,” he stated.

Since that day two years in the past, Greenland stated he has turned his life round and is sober, which he stated he wanted to do first earlier than addressing his arrest. However he stated he knew as he was on the bottom that he’d sometime be in search of the physique digicam movies.

“As a result of I knew I hadn’t accomplished something flawed,” he stated. “Instantly, I knew it wasn’t proper.”

Within the movies, Greenland stated officers could be heard telling him that they consider the movies will present the alternative, that police had been justified of their actions.

“I suppose they’re simply attempting to defend themselves as a result of they know they’re flawed, which is normally just like the response from a baby or anyone after they inform a lie after they’ve accomplished one thing flawed. Anyone that is seen the video is aware of that I did not do something flawed, that I used to be doing what they had been asking me to do.

“I may need been scared, however I wasn’t attempting to assault them,” he stated.

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