Colorado police officer charged with assault for using chokehold

A Greeley police officer faces felony assault charges for using a chokehold on a man he was arresting on a warrant.

Weld County prosecutors on Monday charged Officer Ken Amick with felony strangulation in connection to the arrest earlier this month of a man who threatened to burn down a municipal building.

Amick responded to the City Center North building on June 7 after someone activated a panic alarm. Arriving officers learned the man was also making threats of arson, according to a news release from the Greeley Police Department.

Amick learned the man was wanted on a warrant and took him into custody in the lobby of City Hall, according to the release. As Amick walked the man out of the building, the man became agitated and complained of his handcuffed wrists hurting, police said.

“Officer Amick suddenly placed (the man) into a chokehold,” the release states. “After several seconds, (the man) showed ill effects from this hold while being placed on the ground. A second officer attempted to intervene during this initial encounter.”

The man recovered from the chokehold and continued to walk to a patrol car. Amick then used knee strikes against the man’s leg after the man tried to grab his hand, the release states.

The man as well as two other Greeley police officers told police supervisors that excessive force was used during the arrest.

Greeley police investigated the incident and found there was probable cause that Amick committed a crime, according to the news release.

In Colorado, class four felonies like the one Amick faces are punishable by between two and six years in prison and fines up to $500,000.

Amick remains with the Greeley Police Department but is on unpaid administrative leave, according to the department. He joined the department in 2006 and was awarded a medal of valor in January 2020, according to the Greeley Tribune.

Amick’s first court hearing is scheduled for Aug. 23.

Colorado lawmakers in June 2020 passed a law that bans law enforcement from using chokeholds.

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