An observer and sniper from the Salt Lake City Police Department, who killed a 31-year-old Farmington man in a hostage situation, did not turn on his body cameras (BWCs) until after the fatal shooting.

The SLCPD issued a statement that, unlike patrollers, snipers and spotters cannot wear their BWCs on the front of their body and that “would result in uneven body pressure while lying down and likely affect their readiness. and their precision. . “

In the statement, police said their body cameras are unable to capture images beyond the immediate periphery of an officer and that at present there is no technology to record the scope. aim of a sniper.

Because of these restrictions, sniper operators and SLCPD observers share a camera and set it up in a “position that best reflects the situation they find themselves in.”

“In this incident, there is no BWC of the sniper operator or observer who captured the moments that immediately led to the use of lethal force or the actual use of lethal force. Based on the review, training, and experience of Police Chief Mike Brown, it appears the partner officers likely thought they were shutting down their shared BWC when instead, they activated it after the shooting, ”the statement said of the fatal shooting.

During the critical incident involving an officer, Joseph Manhard, 31, barricaded himself in a house where a family of five lived. SWAT teams were called in to help resolve the situation and a sniper team was used.

After trying to negotiate with Manhard, police said “gunshots broke out” and he was shot dead by a SWAT officer. The five hostages were saved and unharmed.

Manhard was taken to hospital where he later died of his injuries.

“The courageous action of our officer is an example of the utmost professionalism and bravery our members demonstrate every day,” said Chief Mike Brown. “I stand by and support our officer’s decision.”

Because there is no BWC, the Salt Lake City Police Department said it was unable to account for the actions of the officer involved.

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