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No Cottonwood Heights officers disciplined for use of force in altercation with protesters



Cottonwood Heights police officers were not internally disciplined for their use of force in a violent altercation in August of last year with protesters inside a residential neighborhood.

One officer was given a written warning for not properly identifying himself.

A group of people were holding a rally for Zane James, who was shot and killed by police in 2018 during a pursuit after James allegedly robbed two grocery stores.

Court records show police asked those in the August rally to not block public roads, but protesters said they had a first amendment right to protest in the streets. Police began detaining people who were still on the road.

As the officers approached the group of protesters, they were “swarmed by multiple individuals” who “began actively fighting police,” according to an affidavit.

At least five people were arrested, and multiple people and officers were injured.

Newly obtained internal police records show Cottonwood Heights officer Trey Brimhall was not wearing a name badge and, when asked by a protester for his name, Brimhall gave a former officer’s name.

That’s against department policy. Brimhall was given a written warning for dereliction of duty.

Brimhall was the only officer to be internally disciplined by the department over the August incident.

State law protects internal records from becoming public if an officer is not disciplined, so Brimhall’s records were the only ones 2News received through a public records request.

Because no other records were provided, it’s unclear the extent of the police department’s investigation into other uses of force or interactions that day.

The Attorney General’s office is reviewing the case. City leaders expect the AG’s report to be presented at a special city council work session on or around May 11.

Cottonwood Heights Lt. Dan Bartlett says they will comment further on this internal discipline matter once the AG’s investigation is finished.

The Zane family sent 2News a statement saying,

While our family is disappointed we are not surprised. This is yet another example of Cottonwood Heights telling their own story rather than revealing the facts to the public. For our Family, August 2nd will remain an important and traumatic date. We are going to persist in the fight for justice for our son Zane and now Gabe and Aaron.”