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 mentioned he was kneeling together with his palms 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 all of a sudden converged on him with their Tasers drawn in a retailer car 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, nevertheless, complied with the instructions of officers, put his palms within the air and knelt on the bottom with each knees, although he continued to query what he had executed.

Just some seconds later, a fourth American Fork police officer, D.T. Cannon — who had simply arrived on the scene, in keeping with court docket paperwork — got here operating on the West Jordan man and tackled him from behind.

“I might really feel officer Cannon coming. I might hear his tools on him jiggling and I might 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 might consider was to inform them, ‘Cease!’ ‘Do not!’ And try 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, mentioned 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 legislation. However he mentioned 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 would executed unsuitable,” he mentioned.

Tuesday, Greenland alongside together with his legal professional, Robert Sykes, introduced a federal lawsuit this week towards 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 pressure, made an illegal seizure, and several other officers didn’t intervene and stop Cannon from attacking him.

The American Fork Police Division mentioned 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 condo he was dwelling in and was looking for his girlfriend. She advised him she was procuring at Goal, 57 N. 700 West, in American Fork. Greenland bought a journey to the car parking zone. He had all his belongings with him in a few duffle luggage and trash luggage.

He discovered his girlfriend’s automobile within the car parking zone, however she was not there and the automobile was locked. Greenland left his luggage on the automobile and went to a close-by retailer. Within the meantime, police obtained a number of studies of a person attempting to get into vehicles into the car parking zone, in keeping with charging paperwork,

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

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

In response to charging paperwork, Greenland “assumed a defensive preventing stance” and “wouldn’t obey officers’ instructions.” But in police physique digicam video he seems to be kneeling together with his palms within the air.

Within the video, moments after kneeling on the bottom, Cannon tackles Greenland. Greenland will 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 saved telling the officers, “Do not tase me no extra, dude,” and “Do not hit me like that man” whereas asking a number of instances, “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 grievance,” 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 ultimately charged in 4th District Courtroom with a number of counts of drug possession as effectively 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 mentioned 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 quickly lose the use his arms.

“You are locking up on the similar time you are attempting to defend your self. You may’t transfer your arms, you may’t reply to what they’re telling you to do whenever 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 instances,” he mentioned, whereas additionally including that one in all his palms was stomped on.

Despite the fact that police discovered Greenland had medication in his pockets, that they had no cause to look him, in keeping with Sykes. After the case went to court docket, a movement was filed by Greenland’s protection legal professional for proof to be suppressed and the costs towards him had been ultimately dismissed.

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

“I do know that my file appears to be like unhealthy. And as you may see within the video, they did discover medication on me, which nonetheless would not justify them punching me within the face,” he mentioned.

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

“As a result of I knew I hadn’t executed something unsuitable,” he mentioned. “Instantly, I knew it wasn’t proper.”

Within the movies, Greenland mentioned officers will 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 unsuitable, which is normally just like the response from a baby or anyone once they inform a lie once they’ve executed one thing unsuitable. Anyone that is seen the video is aware of that I did not do something unsuitable, 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 mentioned.

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