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Saturday, June 15, 2024 | Back issues
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Hero Cop Accused of Civil Rights Violations

SALT LAKE CITY (CN) - An Ogden City police officer who traded gun fire with Sulejman Talovic at the Trolley Square mall in Salt Lake City on Feb. 12, 2007 has been accused of roughing up a woman during an arrest.

In a federal lawsuit filed this week, Natasha Child claims Ogden City Officer Kenneth Hammond violated her Fourth Amendment rights after she arrived on the scene where her husband was being placed under arrest.

According to court documents, Child's husband, Corey Child, called her on May 18, 2008 at about 1:30 in the morning to tell her he was being arrested by highway patrol troopers on suspicion of driving under the influence.

Natasha Child reportedly arrived just as her husband, who had fled to the backyard of a nearby residence, was being recaptured by police. Child claims Hammond ordered the other officers to handcuff her and put her in the back of a patrol car. He later took Hammond out of that car, put his own cuffs on her and then led her to his patrol car, the lawsuit claims.

Along the way, "Hammond was extremely aggressive and threatening," the complaint states. "Among other things, even though she was initially compliant and non-resisting, he threatened to punch her, and thereafter he pushed her, jabbed her in the back, and lifted the handcuffs up as she was walking, in order to make it extremely painful and difficult. Natasha [Child] was fearful that Hammond's actions would break her wrists or arms."

As Child struggled, her pants began to fall down, according to the lawsuit. Child claims she repeatedly asked Hammond to stop, but "Hammond continued to apply force to the handcuffs behind Natasha [Child]'s back, causing even more pain."

The charges are in stark contrast to the praise Hammond received almost two years ago. Hammond was off duty and having dinner with his wife at the Salt Lake City mall, when he heard gunfire. He spotted Talovic on the level below, and told his wife to call 911.

Talovic killed five people and wounded four before being gunned down by SWAT officers, but Hammond has been credited with preventing further death and injuries. Hammond has received numerous honors since the shootings.

Weber County Attorney Mark DeCaria is investigating Child's allegations.

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