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Colorado officer charged with assault over alleged chokehold

June 28, 2021 GMT

DENVER (AP) — Prosecutors on Monday charged a Colorado police officer with second-degree assault over allegedly putting a man in a chokehold during an arrest earlier this month.

Greeley police Officer Kenneth Amick, 48, has been placed on unpaid leave as a result of the police department’s investigation into the alleged June 7 assault on Matthew Wilson, 36, police said in a statement. At the time, Wilson complained that Amick, who was wanted on a warrant, was using excessive force and asked for a supervisor, police said. Two officers also later reported what they believed to be excessive force, police said.

Amick, who has worked for Greeley police for 15 years, was removed from patrol duty while police conducted their investigation and the department later recommended that prosecutors charge him with assault, leading him to be placed on leave, police said.

Court records do not indicate if Amick has a lawyer yet and there was no answer at two telephone numbers listed for him.

As part of a sweeping police reform bill passed in the middle of protests over the killing of George Floyd, Colorado lawmakers banned police officers from using chokeholds and also required police officers to intervene if they believe excessive force is being used.

On Monday, the office of 19th Judicial District Attorney Michael J. Rourke charged Amick with strangulation, a form of second-degree assault.

Court records do not indicate if Amick has a lawyer yet and there was no answer at two telephone numbers listed for him.

According to police, Wilson was arrested after officers responded to a city government building where an employee said that a man was making threats to burn it down. Officers contacted Wilson at nearby city hall, learned there was a warrant for his arrest and Amick put him in handcuffs, police said.

As Wilson was being escorted outside, he became agitated and complained that his wrists were hurting and Wilson “suddenly” placed him into a chokehold, police said. Wilson “showed ill effects from this hold,” another officer tried to intervene and officers tried to calm Wilson, police said.

Wilson, who was still handcuffed, grabbed Amick’s hand, which prompted Amick to strike Wilson’s legs with his knees before placing Wilson on the ground to try to calm him down, police said. Officers helped Wilson back up and put him in a patrol car, police said.