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Body camera video released in Greeley use of force case

9NEWS was one of several media outlets that partnered with the Colorado Broadcasters Association to fight for the video to be released under a new Colorado law.

GREELEY, Colo. — Body-worn camera video was released Friday in a Greeley Police use of force case from June after media organizations fought for it to be released under a new Colorado law.

9NEWS was one of several media organizations that partnered with the Colorado Broadcasters Association (CBA) to fight for the video to be released under the new state law.

The Greeley case tested the 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.

Greeley Police officer Ken Amick was placed on unpaid leave after being accused of using excessive force during an arrest on June 7. Greeley Police said Amick put a 36-year-old man in a chokehold and then kneed the man in the leg. Amick was charged with felony assault.

The defense for Amick filed an objection to prevent his body cam from being released before trial. The judge initially ruled in their favor, but after the CBA fought for the video's release, it was finally released Friday.

Just after 3:30 p.m. June 7, officers responded to a panic alarm at City Center North, located at 1100 10th St., the Greeley Police Department (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 located at 1000 10th St., GPD said.

Officers located 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 was put into handcuffs by Amick, 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 in June.

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, GPD said.

Investigators finished the criminal investigation and presented the case to the Weld County District Attorney's Office, recommending there was probable cause that Amick's actions met the threshold of second-degree assault, which is a Class 4 felony, GPD said.

The District Attorney's Office said Amick has been charged with second-degree assault in the case. 

Amick has been with the Greeley Police Department since 2006, GPD said.

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