Who is Kenneth Amick? Colorado cop puts man in chokehold during arrest, charged with assault
Matthew Wilson, 36, who was wanted on a warrant, complained that Kenneth Amick used excessive force by allegedly putting him in a chokehold
GREELEY, COLORADO: On Monday, June 28, prosecutors charged Colorado police officer Kenneth Amick, 48, with second-degree assault after he allegedly put a man in an illegal chokehold during an arson arrest earlier this month. After the police department's investigation into the alleged June 7 assault, Amick was placed on unpaid leave. Police said in a statement that Matthew Wilson, 36, who was wanted on a warrant, complained that Amick used excessive force by allegedly putting him in a chokehold.
Two officers also reported later what they believed to be the 'use of excessive force'. Colorado lawmakers banned police officers from using chokeholds and also required cops to intervene if they believe 'excessive force' is being used over a perp, in June 2020. The initiative was taken as part of a police reform bill passed during the protests over the killing of George Floyd.
Amick worked for Greeley police for 15 years. He joined the Greeley Police Department in 2006. He was removed from patrol duty when police conducted their investigation into the June 7 assault and recommended that prosecutors charge him with assault, police said. The office of 19th Judicial District Attorney Michael J Rourke charged Amick with strangulation, a form of second-degree assault on Monday, June 28. It is not clear at the moment if Amick has a lawyer yet and there was no answer at two telephone numbers listed for him as well.
What happened on June 7?
Officers responded to the City Center North building after someone activated a panic alarm on June 7. An employee told the officers who responded at the scene that a man was making threats to burn it down. When officers contacted Wilson at nearby City Hall, they learned there was a warrant for his arrest. According to police, Amick put him in handcuffs in the lobby. Wilson became agitated as he was being escorted outside and complained that his wrists hurt from the handcuffs. According to police, Amick then "suddenly placed Wilson into a chokehold". "After several seconds, Wilson showed ill effects from this hold while being placed on the ground. A second officer attempted to intervene during this initial encounter," police said.
Wilson was then released from the chokehold but he was still handcuffed. He tried to grab Amick's hand, which prompted Amick to strike Wilson's legs with his knees before placing him on the ground to try to calm him down, police further said. Officers then helped Wilson back up and sat him down him in a patrol car. Two police officers raised concerns about how the arrest went down and said they believed Amick used excessive force during the ordeal.
After finding probable cause for charges, investigators referred the case to the district attorney's office. Felonies such as the one Amick faces are punishable with anywhere between two and six years in prison as well as fines up to $500,000 in Colorado. Amick is currently on unpaid administrative leave as he waits for his first court hearing on August 24. According to the Greeley Tribune, Amick was awarded a medal of valor in January 2020.