Greeley officer faces assault charge after using choke hold on man, police say

Greeley officer Ken Amick
Posted at 1:50 PM, Jun 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-28 15:55:59-04

GREELEY, Colo. — A Greeley police officer faces an assault charge after investigators found that he used excessive force on a man earlier this month by placing the man in a choke hold, a police news release said Monday.

Officer Ken Amick, 48, an officer with Greeley since 2006, has been placed on unpaid leave during the investigation.

A charge of second-degree assault, a fourth-degree felony, was filed against Amick on Monday, according to court records. Jail booking information, including a mugshot, was not yet available Monday afternoon.

Amick had responded on June 7 to a panic alarm at the City Center North on 10th Street in Greeley.

A man, Matthew Wilson, 36, was reportedly threatening to burn the building down and began walking toward city hall. Officers contacted Wilson and found that he had a warrant out for his arrest, according to the news release.

Amick placed Wilson in handcuffs and began to escort him from the building. When Wilson complained that his wrists were hurting, Amick "suddenly placed Wilson into a chokehold," the news release said.

Wilson began to show "ill effects from this hold," police said, as he was placed on the ground. Other officers tried to calm Wilson and got him back on his feet.

When Wilson was taken outside, he grabbed Amick's hand while still in handcuffs. Amick then delivered knee strikes to Wilson's leg, police said.

Amick put Wilson on the ground "to calm him down," and the other officers helped Wilson to his feet and put him in a patrol car.

Wilson complained about Amick using excessive force, and two officers also contacted their supervisors to say they believed the force was excessive.

After a criminal investigation, investigators presented their evidence to the Weld County District Attorney's Office and recommended the second-degree assault charge.

Last year Colorado legislators passed a sweeping police reform bill that banned carotid and choke holds, among other changes.