On Friday, the Draper (Utah) Police Department released the body camera video worn by one of its officers during Wednesday's fatal officer-involved shooting of Jeff R. Nielson, 34, of Sandy.
Most of the video shows four calm police officers, two from West Valley City and two from Draper, being very courteous, and a seemingly subdued Nielson.
But that changed without warning, KSL TV reports.
Four minutes into the video, handcuffs are placed on Nielson. Later, he tells the officers that there's a knife in his glove box, a kitchen knife with a 7- to 8-inch blade. West Valley Police Chief Lee Russo said Friday that at that point there was no imminent threat to officers because Nielson was in handcuffs 15 feet away, so they left the knife in the vehicle.
About 17 minutes after the video begins, a Draper sergeant is heard telling Nielson that the officers are going to take his handcuffs off him and then put on a pair of handcuffs from the West Valley officer who will take him to jail. Apparently because he had been so calm and cooperative with police, they allowed him to put his left hand on his head when one cuff was removed.
But as soon as the right handcuff is removed, Nielson can be seen making an immediate dash to his vehicle. For the next 38 seconds, a very violent struggle ensues.
As Nielson struggled to get back in the cab again, the Draper sergeant's camera was knocked off his uniform. Although the shooting was not captured on video, the audio was recorded.
Almost as soon as an officer is heard yelling, "Knife!" a shot is fired, followed by four more rounds in quick secession. Roberts said two shots hit Nielson in the side, one in the chest, another in the arm and one in the back. He was pronounced dead a short time later.