- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 29, 2016

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - The family of a Utah man killed by a Centerville police officer says a conversation recorded on a body camera raises doubts about the official account that he was shot when he pointed a gun at the officer.

Vincent Farrand’s wife contends in a lawsuit that the conversation between two officers indicates Farrand, 38, put down his gun before the shots were fired. But a lawyer for the city said Tuesday that the lawsuit misinterprets something said by an officer who didn’t see what happened.

Attorney Heather White says the officer meant that Farrand had the weapon at his side before the shooting, but was raising and pointing it when Officer Jason Read fired.

“The only people that saw what happened was the officer and Mr. Farrand,” White said. “He didn’t put the gun on the ground.”

Read came to the house in April 2014 after Farrand’s wife called 911, saying her husband was angry that another man hit on her and he was going to the man’s house with a gun.

She called back a few minutes later to say he’d never actually left, but officers were still concerned and responded to the house about 15 miles north of Salt Lake City.

Police say a suicidal Farrand came out with the gun and was shot after he refused to drop it.

The family disputes that account in the lawsuit filed against Read and the city of Centerville on Thursday.

They say in the lawsuit that Farrand immediately dropped the gun to the ground, but the officer still fired two shots into his back “purposefully and in reckless disregard of his safety and well-being.” Family attorneys could not immediately be reached for additional comment Tuesday.

More police from neighboring agencies arrived at the scene after the shooting, and one officer told another about what happened in a conversation that was captured by a body camera, according to court documents. The family says it supports their contention that the shooting wasn’t justified, but the city says the information was secondhand.

Read was not wearing a body camera during the shooting.

The city says in court documents that Ferrand was turning toward Read and raising his gun hand at him when the officer fired. Farrand was still holding the gun after he went down and the officer had to kick it out of his hand to perform CPR, White said.

Farrand’s family is seeking unspecified damages in the federal civil rights lawsuit.


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