Medical examiner rules woman’s death days after being subdued by SLCPD officers was homicide

File Photo: Gephardt Daily/Patrick Benedict

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, July 30, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — The Salt Lake City Police Department announced Saturday it has activated Officer-Involved Critical Incident protocol after the Utah Office of the Medical Examiner ruled the death of Megan Joyce Mohn to be a homicide.

Mohn, 40, died in the hospital, where she spent 19 days following a Jan. 11, 2022, encounter with SLCPD officers.

Salt Lake City police were called to the scene, at Marathon Petroleum’s Salt Lake City refinery, by a security guard for the refinery. The guard said a woman, later identified as Mohn, was “walking in circles carrying a piece of rebar in the intersection of 400 West 900 North.”

An SLCPD officer working a second job for Marathon Petroleum talked to the guard and learned that “Mohn tried getting into a secure area and accessed the truck exit gate. A truck driver stopped Ms. Mohn, who then ran off property and back into the intersection.”

Additional officers arrived and saw that Mohn “had two pieces of rebar in her hand,” the police statement says. “The officer ordered Ms. Mohn to drop the rebar and she complied. The officer had Ms. Mohn sit on the ground.”

The private security guard reported witnessing the arrest, and said Mohn “just kept screaming incoherent language,” according to the SLCPD statement.

After Mohn reportedly kicked an officer several times, “The officers moved her from a seated position on to her stomach….

“Because Ms. Mohn kept kicking, the officers decided to use a leg restraint device. Once the officers applied the leg restraints, they noticed Ms. Mohn had stopped resisting and yelling.”

After the abrupt change in behavior and Mohn’s sudden silence, an officer on scene  immediately recommended that Ms. Mohn be placed into the “recovery position,” the statement says.

Mohn was breathing but remained unresponsive.

One of the officers did a sternum rub, which is a pain stimulus to elicit a reaction or response in an unconscious person, the SLCPD statement says.

“The officers on scene made multiple attempts to wake Ms. Mohn and administered a dose of naloxone, a medicine that rapidly reverses an opioid overdose.”

Officers removed Mohn’s restraints and performed CPR until Salt Lake City firefighters took over. Police and fire personnel then took turns in attempts to revive Mohn.

She was transported to Salt Lake Regional Hospital in critical condition. A review of Mohn’s property turned up methamphetamine, spice and alcohol.

SLCPD learned on Feb. 9 that Mohn had died on Jan. 30, the SLCPD statement says.

“Upon learning of Ms. Mohn’s death from the medical examiner’s office, the Salt Lake City Police Department consulted with the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office.

“The Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office advised the Salt Lake City Police Department that the incident did not qualify as an officer-involved-critical-incident at that time.”

Officials awaited the medical examiner’s report.

“According to the medical examiner’s findings, Ms. Mohn’s immediate cause of death was ‘anoxic brain injury’ due to ‘cardiac arrest’ due to ‘probable methamphetamine intoxication in the setting of an altercation involving physical restraint,'” the Salt Lake City Police statement says.

In keeping with a Salt Lake City ordinance, body camera footage will be released in the near future, the statement says. In addition, the four involved officers have been placed on administrative leave in keeping with OICI protocol.

“Police officers make incredibly important and difficult decisions at lightning speed and under incredible stress and volatility. These decisions are heavily scrutinized,” said Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown.

“Our officers acted appropriately, quickly and professionally to save Ms. Mohn’s life. We welcome and respect the officer-involved-critical-incident protocol.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here