Warning: Parts of this video may be disturbing to some viewers
ROY, Utah, Sept. 24, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — The Roy City Police Department said Thursday that an officer-involved shooting on the Roy/Clinton border last month has been ruled justified.
A news release from Roy PD said: “On Aug. 8, 2020, Roy City police officers were involved in an officer-involved critical incident that resulted in the death of 21-year-old Aaron Griffin. All findings and evidence in this incident were reviewed by the Davis County Attorney’s Office and the officer’s actions were ruled justified.
“A critical incident briefing video has been prepared and made available to the public (above). This video provides a chronological illustration and narration of the details of this case. This case has been closed.”
The officers involved were placed on administrative leave after the incident.
The 15-minute 44-second video includes both body-worn and vehicle camera video.
Officer Josh Taylor, Roy Police Department, narrates in the video that the incident began at 1:58 a.m. when an officer made a traffic stop in the area of 5660 S. 1900 West in Roy.
“A Roy City police officer stopped a gray Volkswagen Passat for having a license plate partially obstructed with paper,” Taylor says, as vehicle camera video from the officer’s car is shown. “The officer made contact with the driver, who was identified as Aaron Griffin by a Utah state ID. While speaking to the officer, the passenger identified himself as Brian James. This male was later identified as Brian Cregg.”
It was found that at the time of the stop, Cregg had a warrant for his arrest for violation of his parole.
The vehicle camera footage then switches to the point of the view of the officer’s body-worn camera. In the video, Griffin says he just realized he has paper on his license plate as he was playing a joke on his sister, because he didn’t want her to recognize his car.
“I covered it up and I just didn’t take it off,” Griffin says. The officer then points out that Griffin also has a brake light out. Griffin then hands the officer his driver license, proof of insurance and vehicle registration.
The officer then returns to his vehicle and runs the information provided to him. He gives Griffin a verbal warning and asks that the paper on the license plate be removed before they leave. The passenger, Cregg, removes the paper from the licence plate.
The vehicle then leaves and the officers runs the information provided by Cregg. When the officer finds he has been given false information by the passenger, he initiates a second traffic stop took place at 2:07 a.m. in the area of 2400 N. Main St. in Sunset.
The second interaction with the suspect vehicle is then shown through body-worn and vehicle camera video. The officer says he cannot find anything matching the name Brian James, and the passenger says he does not have a Utah driver’s license or a Utah ID on him. He says he is from Wyoming and he has not been in trouble with the law in Utah. Cregg then gives the officer his social security number.
“Don’t leave, don’t get out of the car,” the officer says. As the officer walks back to his vehicle, the suspect vehicle flees. The officer initiates a vehicle pursuit that is terminated a short time later for safety.
After terminating the pursuit, Roy officers began searching the area for the vehicle. Roy City Police K-9 Officer Mik located the vehicle in a field south and east of the Vasa Fitness Center at 2642 N. 2000 West in Clinton. The officer pulled into the field and released K-9 Mik to apprehend Griffin, who was running from the suspect vehicle.
Body-worn camera footage from K-9 Mik is then shown. An officer is heard yelling: “Stop! I’m going to send the dog, he will bite you! He will bite you, stop!” He then tells Griffin to get on the ground. Just moments after Mik starts chasing Aaron, gunshots can be heard. “Start medical, my dog’s been shot,” the officer is heard saying. A second officer arrives.
Taylor then narrates that Mik was hit one time in the face when Griffin shot at him. He was rushed to an animal ER where he underwent emergency surgery.
“Just after Mik was shot in the face, two Roy officers entered the field from behind Vasa fitness and drove towards the scene,” Taylor says. “Aaron fired three shots at the first officer as they approached him. One of these rounds hit the driver’s side of the front windshield.”
The second officer made the decision to try and stop Griffin by ramming him with his vehicle. Griffin then shot three times at the second officer with one round hitting the driver’s side headlight, and another round hitting the front license plate.
Video is then shown from the vehicle cameras of two officers that entered the field.
“After stopping his vehicle, the second officer got out and started ordering Aaron to show his hands,” Taylor narrates. Two other officers joined him and they began to look for Griffin in the tall vegetation. The officers found the suspect and as they start ordering him to show his hands, he allegedly pointed his firearm at them. The officers fired at Griffin, striking him multiple times.
The firearm Griffin had in his possession and was firing at officers was found to have been reported as stolen.
The video then shows body-worn camera video from two officers’ points of view; the officer with K-9 Mik and one of the officers who entered the field to attempt to apprehend the suspect.
Mik’s surgery was successful and “he is currently at home with his family, recovering,” Taylor says at the end of the video.
Cregg was taken into custody.
No officers were injured in the exchange.
Agencies who assisted at the scene included the Clinton Police Department, the Weber County Sheriff’s Office and the Davis County Sheriff’s Office.
Gephardt Daily will have more on this developing story as information becomes available.