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Former Greeley officer takes plea deal in use of force case

Kenneth Amick pleaded guilty Tuesday to a misdemeanor count of reckless endangerment. A felony assault charge was dismissed.

GREELEY, Colo. — A former Greeley police officer who was charged with assault and reckless endangerment after being accused of using excessive force during an arrest in June 2021 has taken a plea deal, according to court records.

Kenneth Amick, 49, pleaded guilty Tuesday to a misdemeanor count of reckless endangerment. A felony assault charge was dismissed.

He was sentenced to 12 months probation, according to court documents.

The charges stemmed from a June 7, 2021 arrest in which, the Greeley Police Department (GPD) said, Amick put a 36-year-old man in a chokehold and then kneed the man in the leg.

FROM JUNE 2021: Greeley officer charged with felony in excessive force case

Just after 3:30 p.m. that day, officers responded to a panic alarm at City Center North on 10th Street, the GPD said.

An employee at City Center North said a man was there threatening to burn down the building, GPD said. Employees then told police the man left City Center North and walked toward City Hall.

Officers found the man in the lobby of City Hall, GPD said.

The man had a warrant for his arrest unrelated to the City Center North call, and Amick put him into handcuffs, GPD said.

As Amick was taking the man out of City Hall, the man became agitated and complained that his wrists were hurting, GPD said. Amick put the man in a chokehold, according to GPD. The man showed "ill effects" from the chokehold while being placed on the ground, GPD said.

GPD said another officer then intervened. Officers tried calming the man, asking whether he was all right, and then got him back to his feet, GPD said.

Once the man and Amick were outside of City Hall, the man, still handcuffed, grabbed Amick's hand, GPD said. Amick then delivered knee strikes to the man's leg and placed him on the ground to calm him down, GPD said. 

Officers helped the man back to his feet again and put him in a patrol car, GPD said. Once in the car, the man complained of excessive force and asked for a supervisor, GPD said.

After the man's arrest, two Greeley police officers contacted supervisors and said they believed the use of force during the man's arrest was excessive, GPD said. 

Amick was removed from patrol duty and a criminal investigation began. 

The case tested a new law on police body camera footage. HB21-1250 requires the release of body-worn camera recordings within 21 days of request for incidents in which there is a complaint of officer misconduct.

9NEWS was one of several media organizations that partnered with the Colorado Broadcasters Association (CBA) to fight for the video in the Amick case to be released. That video was made public in October. 

RELATED: Body camera video released in Greeley use of force case

Amick had been with the Greeley Police Department since 2006. The department said he was removed from patrol duty immediately after this incident and has not worked for the department since June 28, 2021.

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