HEBER CITY, Utah — FOX 13 obtained exclusive body camera footage of an incident in March that led to county and state investigations of Heber City Police Chief Dave Booth.
The video shows Booth choking the handcuffed suspect, Jessie James Rodriquez. Officers responded to reports of the man being intoxicated. Rodriquez tried to fight officers and grab one of their guns upon arrival.
One of the Heber City officers that filed a formal complaint against Booth has now left the department, solely citing “the city’s retaliatory actions.”
The chief was placed on administrative leave for over a month as the Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Public Safety (DPS) led investigations into the event. The findings found that the complaint “was not substantiated and found to be baseless and without merit,” according to an August email from Heber City Mayor Kelleen Potter.
A DPS spokesperson told FOX 13 that despite Booth being cleared in their investigation, officials never said the complaint was “baseless” or “without merit.”
According to an anonymous source that spoke with FOX 13, Potter told the police department in a meeting that “karma’s a bitch,” when discussing someone from the agency talking to the media.
Former Salt Lake City Police Department Chief Chris Burbank told FOX 13 that “any type of choking” is not allowed.