April 7, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact Information: PolicePRUnit@slcgov.com
SALT LAKE CITY — Today, the Salt Lake City Police Department is releasing body worn camera footage from the March 26, 2022 officer involved critical incident.
A statement from Chief Mike Brown is at the bottom of this release.
Case No. 22-54268
Incident Date: March 26, 2022
Officer-Involved-Critical Incident Location: 220 South Orange Street
Subject: Matthew Cieslack, 38
Complainant: Multiple 9-1-1 callers.
There are 16 applicable 9-1-1 calls to this case.
In compliance with Salt Lake City Ordinance 2.10.200, the Salt Lake City Police Department is releasing body-worn camera footage of the Officer-Involved Critical Incident that occurred at 5:52 PM MDT on March 26, 2022 at 220 South Orange Street in Salt Lake City, Utah. The footage released today shows the incident from the two involved SLCPD officers.
The videos being released are the only body-worn camera videos in SLCPD’s possession to capture the moments leading up to and including the shooting.
Video 1 is two minutes (02:00) long.
Video 2 is two minutes and fifty-one (02:51) seconds long.
Both videos start with 30-seconds of no audio. This is not a malfunction. The “Axon 3” body-worn cameras used by the SLCPD have a continuous 30-second video only buffer. When a recording is activated, the buffered video captured directly before the event is saved and attached to the event in permanent memory. This feature is intended to capture the video of an incident just before a recording begins.
Both videos end as the subject falls to the ground. The video is stopped pursuant to City Ordinance 2.10.200 (D) (3) which states “some images from a body-worn camera might be offensive or violate an individual’s privacy and should not be disclosed…These offensive/violative images include…showing the moment an individual deceases or the individual’s body the moment after deceasing…”
Regarding this incident, officers with the Salt Lake City Police Department were initially dispatched to a Priority 1 – “Shooting Just Occurred” on the northbound Interstate 15 off ramp that leads to 600 South in downtown.
A timeline from the SLC911 dispatch log is being released with additional context and a summary. All times are Mountain Daylight Time.
There are only two body-worn camera videos that captured the actual officer-involved-critical incident. The BWC footage for both officers starts as they are pursuing the subject. The pursuit ended in an industrial area near 220 South Orange Street after the subject crashed the stolen vehicle, rendering it inoperable after becoming high-centered. After crashing, the subject remained in the vehicle. The involved officers, as they exited their vehicle, immediately began giving verbal commands for the subject to “show me your hands” and “drop the gun.” Instantaneously, shots, in rapid succession, were exchanged between the subject and the two officers. Upon exiting the driver side of the police car, one officer took cover behind the police car while engaged with the subject. Upon exiting the front passenger side of the police car, the other officer eventually took cover behind the police car while engaged with the subject. The subject exited the stolen vehicle from the front passenger side. There is a brief pause in the volley of gunshots, which is when one of the officers sees the subject running from the front passenger door of the vehicle and past the trunk in the direction of the officers. Both officers briefly continue to discharge their service weapons as the subject falls and briefly continue shooting as he is on the ground with the gun in close reach. A tactical approach, with responding and the involved officers, is formulated to approach the subject on the ground. After clearing the gun from the subject’s immediate reach, emergency life-saving efforts are conducted. Life-saving efforts continued for approximately 15-20 minutes with officers and paramedics.
“This was a very dynamic, dangerous and traumatic situation for everyone, but I am proud of our officers for the way they protected each other and our community when faced with an unimaginable and deadly situation. Our officers performed with great courage, tactics and professionalism while under fire in a life-threatening situation. Their will to survive and dedication to protecting each other and our community under stress is extraordinary. I look forward to their return to work after the investigations are complete.”
No further information on this case is being released. Neither the PIO nor the On-Duty Watch Commander are available for interviews.