POLICE

American Fork police being sued by man claiming he was beaten by officers while obeying orders

Mar 1, 2022, 7:13 PM
Snapshot taken from body camera video shared by Cody Greenland's attorney....
Snapshot taken from body camera video shared by Cody Greenland's attorney.

AMERICAN FORK, Utah — A man is taking the American Fork Police Department to court, saying he was beaten by officers as they abused their power while he was obeying their orders. 

Cody Greenland says he was surrounded by American Fork officers in a Target parking lot in 2020.  They were reportedly looking for a car burglar, and Greenland says he wasn’t the man officers were looking for.  Still, he claims three officers instructed him to drop to his knees, and he complied.

However, Greenland says he could hear and feel officer D.T. Cannon running from the side while he was kneeling.  One of the body camera videos shared by his attorneys show he was on his knees when Cannon tackled him, and Greenland claims Cannon’s knee hit him in the spine, knocking the wind out of him.

Greenland said, “You can’t respond to what they’re telling you to do when you’re being tased like that and punched in the face and head at the same time.”

Beaten by officers

He estimates he was punched in the head and face roughly 30 times.  He still has ringing in his ears and memory loss because of the beating, and he says there was no reason for him to be tackled, whatsoever.

(On top, a screen shot of Greenland kneeling in the Target parking lot. Below, officer Cannon is seen tackling Greenland while he was kneeling. Photos taken from body camera video shared by Greenland’s attorney.)

“I know that my record looks bad, and as you watch the videos you can see they did find drugs on me, which still wouldn’t justify them to beat me and punch me in the face,” Greenland said.

KSL.com reports the charging documents against Greenland say he “assumed a defensive fighting stance,” and wouldn’t obey the officers’ commands.  However, Greenland’s attorney, Robert Sykes, says the body camera footage shows the opposite was true.

Sykes said, “They don’t need to use force.  There was no need to use force.  Cody would’ve put his hands behind his back and gotten handcuffed.”

Greenland says he shouted “I’m good” to the officers to show he wasn’t resisting.  Plus, he repeatedly asked what he was being arrested for.  Sykes says they’re filing a “failure to intervene” claim against the other officers for not pulling Cannon off Greenland.

Sykes said, “Officers have an obligation to intervene to prevent other officers from violating civil rights.  These other three officers did not.  In fact, they participated.”

Officials with the American Fork Police Department tell KSL they’re still reviewing the case, and they can’t comment on an active lawsuit.

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American Fork police being sued by man claiming he was beaten by officers while obeying orders