UTAH

Cottonwood Heights officer’s use of force not justified, no charges filed

May 27, 2022, 3:49 PM | Updated: 3:55 pm
Cottonwood Heights Zane James Casey Davies...
Cottonwood Heights police cruisers in Cottonwood Heights on Friday, June 26, 2020.

SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake County District Attorney’s office (DA) has determined that the use of deadly force with a patrol car by a Cottonwood Heights Police officer on May 29, 2018 was not justified. However, the DA’s office will not file charges against the officer.

The ruling is based on new evidence provided to the DA’s office in the case of a 2018 shooting. That shooting involved Cottonwood Heights Police officer Casey Davies, who shot Zane Anthony James. James died two days later.

Zane was reportedly fleeing the scene of a robbery in Sandy, Utah when he encountered off-duty officer Casey Davies.

While the shooting is not in question said Salt Lake County DA Sim Gill in a letter, what became questionable was whether Officer Davies hit James with his patrol car while James was on a motorcycle.  After the car hit James, Officer Davies fired his weapon which lead to James’ death.

New evidence led to DA’s decision

After the initial Officer Involved Critical Incident investigation in 2018, a task force made up of officers outside the Cottonwood Heights Police force presented information about the incident to the DA’s office. At that time, the DA’s office determined criminal charges against Officer Davies were not warranted.

However, the DA’s office did not address the incident involving the patrol car and James’ motorcycle.

That information came to light in a civil suit filed by James’ parents. They had obtained a statement made by Davies as part of the investigation, in which he allegedly said he made the decision to run James over.

Cottonwood Heights police asked Salt Lake City to investigate once they learned about the new evidence earlier this year, which eventually led to Gill’s review.

Gill is not pursuing criminal charges against the officer, saying he lacks evidence to prove the collision was intentional or reckless.

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Cottonwood Heights officer’s use of force not justified, no charges filed