Salt Lake Police Department shares body camera video after suspect fatally shot by officers

OICI video walkthrough

Posted by SLC Police on Friday, August 16, 2019

The above video contains disturbing images. View it at your own discretion.

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Aug. 16, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — Salt Lake City police officials have shared two officers’ body cam videos from the officer-involved critical incident that resulted in the shooting death of Riche Antonio Santiago.

Police say Santiago, 29, was shot after he retrieved a pistol from his backpack while being placed under arrest by police.

A bicycle officer was responding to a 911 hang-up call on Aug. 5, and talked first to people in the front seat of a car, located in the area of 731 South and 300 East.

The car was uninsured, and had previously been involved in a shots-fired call, SLCPD Captain Lance VanDongen said at a news conference, viewable in the Facebook video above.

At about 10:13 minutes into the recording above, a clip of body camera video shows Santiago trying to exit the driver’s side back seat of the car. The officer asks why Santiago is trying to leave, and Santiago says he wants to smoke. The officer informs Santiago he is being detained, and takes his name.

Another SLCPD officer arrives to monitor the car, and the first officer runs Santiago’s name in police files.

VanDongen said the officer found Santiago had outstanding warrants for misdemeanor fleeing, felony fleeing and felony domestic abuse. VanDongen also said Santiago had a previous conviction for felony fleeing.

At about 15 minutes into the Facebook video, the original officer returns to the car and tells Santiago he is under arrest and tells him to exit the car.

Salt Lake City Police officials shared body camera video after an Aug. 5 incident during which a suspect Riche Santiago was shot and killed by police after retrieving a gun during his arrest. Image: SLCPD

Santiago reportedly told officers he would cooperate, but the video shows Santiago reaching into a backpack rather than immediately exiting the car. VanDongen showed a still shot revealing that Santiago retrieved a pistol.

On the video, officers can be heard shouting “Don’t, don’t,” “Don’t be stupid” and “What do you got?” Multiple shots are fired. VanDongen said it happened after Santiago pointed the pistol at officers.

The video shows other occupants of the car ordered to get out, and a woman staying close to a young girl who is crying hysterically.

Officers order Santiago, by then on the pavement, to put his hands behind his back for handcuffs. He does not do so, and can be seen with the pistol next to him. Santiago’s legs appear to move very slightly, and his medical status at that exact point is unclear. Once the gun is removed, medical calls are called in and Santiago is declared dead at the scene.

The recording then shows video from a second body-cam, sharing the same series of events from a slightly different point of view.

VanDongen said two officers are on administrative leave as a result of the incident, and that West Valley City Police Department is conducting an independent investigation, in keeping with protocol for officer-involved critical incidents.

At the start of his presentation, VanDongen also said the Aug. 5 event was the SLCPD’s fifth officer-involved critical incident of 2019, and the fifth involving a death. VanDongen said this was the third instance this year in which officers fatally shot someone.

In addition, he said SLCPD officers had responded to 2,869 hang-up 911 calls so far this year, and that last year’s total was 4,157. VanDongen said that responding officers locate the caller about 8 percent of the time.

Below is a body camera video released by the SLCPD. Again, content is disturbing.

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