CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Ogden couple suing city’s police force, claiming excessive force

Nov 22, 2023, 8:30 PM

Image of Vera Briem, age 74, as she discusses the night that Ogden police took down her husband Ran...

Vera Briem, 74, talks about Ogden police taking down her husband Rand Briem, 78, during a press conference at Sykes McAllister Law Offices in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2023. Attorney Robert B. Sykes filed a complaint in federal court on behalf of the Briems, claiming Ogden police used excessive force. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

OGDEN, Utah — A 78-year-old man and his wife say they’d like to put behind them what happened with Ogden police a year ago, but the Ogden couple is also suing for injuries and emotional damage.

On Nov. 29, 2022, Rand Briem and his wife Vera Briem were leaving their house when two Ogden Police officers approached them. Neighbors had reportedly called the police claiming the home that the Briems owned had been foreclosed on. 

Officers and the Ogden couple talked, but when Briem reached to get his license back from the officers, they both grabbed him and then shoved him against the house and eventually onto the ground. The police can eventually be seen on footage from body-worn cameras pushing Briem to the ground face first.

“No force is appropriate if no force is needed,” said the couple’s attorney, Robert Sykes. “There was no force needed at all.” Sykes has filed a complaint in federal court on behalf of the Briems.

The attorney said the Ogden couple is seeking compensation for their medical bills, as well as emotional distress. 

In a statement, the Ogden Police Department said that Rand Briem has been charged with interfering with an arresting officer. Police also said that footage from a body-worn camera has been reviewed “as part of our After Action Review Process.” 

Ogden police said they are confident that “the court will find our officers’ use of force justified as our internal review did.”

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Ogden couple suing city’s police force, claiming excessive force