2 officers were legally justified in killing Orem man, county attorney says

The Utah County Legal professional’s Workplace has decided that two officers have been legally justified in capturing and killing an Orem man who had pointed a gun at them in August. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret Information)

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PROVO — Two cops who shot and killed a person who had pointed a gun at them final yr in Provo have been legally justified in utilizing lethal drive, the Utah County Legal professional’s Workplace introduced Tuesday.

On Aug. 24, Paul Finn Rasmussen, 48, of Orem, fled from a Utah County sheriff’s deputy who had tried to tug him over. About two hours later, sheriff’s deputy Justin Mortensen and Nice Grove police officer Peterson, who have been each working that night time with the Utah County Main Crimes Job Pressure, noticed Rasmussen’s automobile parked close to 300 North and 900 West. The detectives turned on their “police lights” and stepped out of their automobile.

Simply as they did, Rasmussen exited his automobile and drew a gun, in keeping with police.

“When confronted by the primary officer, Mr. Rasmussen turned and pointed a firearm on the officer. That officer took cowl behind a close-by automobile. Officer Peterson and deputy Mortensen then fired a number of rounds at Mr. Rasmussen. Mr. Rasmussen was struck a number of occasions and died from a gunshot wound. A firearm was situated close to Mr. Rasmussen, and one other firearm was situated in Mr. Rasmussen’s clothes,” in keeping with a ready assertion from Utah County Legal professional David Leavitt.

The officer-involved capturing investigation was performed by the Lehi Police Division and the outcomes have been handed over to Leavitt’s workplace.

“Upon evaluation of the info and all extra data contained within the numerous police reviews compiled throughout the investigation, the Utah County Legal professional’s Workplace declines to file any felony prices towards both officer,” Leavitt stated.

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Salt Lake City officers used more force in 2021 — but less than expected, department report finds

Officers used pressure 985 occasions final 12 months, in keeping with the division’s 2021 use-of-force report.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Salt Lake Metropolis Police Chief Mike Brown in his workplace on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021.

Salt Lake Metropolis police final 12 months noticed a rise in total requires service in addition to stories of officers utilizing pressure. However officers nonetheless used much less pressure in 2021 than a department-conducted evaluation anticipated them to, a report launched Friday concluded.

Officers used nonlethal pressure 985 occasions final 12 months, in keeping with the division’s 2021 use-of-force report. That determine doesn’t embody interactions the place an officer fired their weapon, the report famous, however does embody actions like bodily restraint, less-than-lethal rounds, pointing a firearm, use of pepper spray and use of a taser or use of a baton.

In 2020, officers used such pressure 917 occasions. Nonetheless, utilizing a components based mostly on variations in comparable variables between that 12 months and 2021 — together with complete arrests and calls dealt with, together with the quantity of resistance to arrests and assaults on officers — the division anticipated officers to make use of nonlethal pressure 1,139 occasions in 2021.

“We see this improve in calls dealt with, improve in arrests, improve in resisting and assault on law enforcement officials, so once more the query is — did use of pressure change in proportion to that?” Deputy Chief Scott Mourtgos stated Friday throughout a information convention.

Mourtgos ready the division’s 2021 use-of-force report utilizing his expertise as a Ph.D. candidate on the College of Utah with experience in quantitative social sciences.

“We truly noticed a lower in what we might count on when accounting for these different elements that drive use-of-force incidents,” Mourtgos continued.

The 985 makes use of of pressure in 2021 amounted to 0.57% of all police calls that 12 months. SLCPD Chief Mike Brown stated neighborhood members ought to take into account that as at, or close to, “a worldwide minimal.”

This lower from the anticipated quantity of makes use of of pressure is a results of the division’s insurance policies, de-escalation strategies and officer coaching, Brown stated.

The common use of pressure interplay was with a 34-year-old white man, in keeping with the report.

When damaged down by race, 48% of forceful interactions occurred with white folks, 17% occurred with Hispanic folks, 12% occurred with Black folks, 5% with American Indian/Alaskan Native folks and 4% with Asian/Pacific Islander folks.

Lower than 1% of forceful interactions occurred with Center Jap folks, in keeping with the report. Folks of different races had been the topic of two% of makes use of of pressure, and in 4% of makes use of of pressure, officers didn’t word the race of people that had been the topic in such interactions.

9 % of instances weren’t included due to an information error, the report notes. In accordance with the division, the sum of all these percentages was above 100% resulting from rounding.

The division is on tempo in 2022 to surpass final 12 months’s 173,256 requires service, Brown stated.

Though he doesn’t know what’s accounting for the obvious improve in calls lately, he famous that calls appear to be getting extra aggressive, with extra folks carrying weapons and extra folks keen to make use of them in crimes.

“I believe that the volatility, and what the perpetrators are keen to do, that’s undoubtedly having an affect in our communities,” Brown stated Friday.