SALT LAKE CITY: On Wednesday, a suburban police department in Utah released body camera footage depicting a fatal shooting in which five officers can be heard repeatedly yelling “Gun!” before opening fire on a car from all sides. Family members of the victim described the incident as a “brutal murder” prior to the release of the video.


On March 1, police shot and killed 25-year-old Chase Allan after he refused to show them his ID and follow other orders. Instead of answering their question, he recited a list of grievances against the government and questioned their right to pull him over. An officer had initially pulled him over for what they would later label a “illegitimate license plate.”
At a press conference on Wednesday, Farmington Police Chief Eric Johnsen told reporters that police opened fire on Allan after he reached for something officers thought was a holster or gun. A view of Allan’s hip holster is obscured by the car door and an officer leans in to grab him as another shouts that there is a gun, so he admitted that the footage is unclear about what happens in the seconds before the shooting. For what seems like several minutes, the police fire numerous rounds into Allan’s car before one of them finally orders them to stop.

After following Allan, a 25-year-old ex-college soccer player, into a post office parking lot, the first police car begins filming. An officer walks up to Allan’s blue BMW and inquires about his registration because the plate doesn’t look legitimate.

Upon hearing Allan say, “I don’t need registration and I don’t answer questions,” the officer called for backup and informed Allan that he was being detained.

Officer: “The direction this encounter goes is 100% in your hands” after he and Allan argue about the law and Allan claims he isn’t giving the officer jurisdiction to detain him.
Allan is seen on camera initially refusing to provide his identification or registration and arguing with the officer about whether the law requires him to do so. He eventually does provide a passport, but then continues to refuse to exit his vehicle after being asked to do so.

Later, a second cop arrives and threatens to smash Allan’s window and drag him outside.

Allan, who appears to be recording the encounter on his cell phone, can be seen switching which hand he is holding the phone with several times throughout.

In the pause that follows, the edited police compilation video shown at Wednesday’s news conference zeroes in on Allan’s hand movement, which frees the hand closest to a hip holster under his jacket. At this time, neither the holster nor the gun are visible in the footage.

The policeman asks Allan to get out of the car a second time. As the door swings open, we see Allan fumbling with something, though it’s not clear whether he’s trying to undo his seatbelt or get to his holster.

The officer then yells “Gun!” a split second later. Officers in reserve surround the car from behind and to either side and open fire. After several seconds of gunfire, an officer orders a halt. To date, law enforcement has made no assertions that Allan fired back.

Photos of a handgun discovered on the floorboard of the vehicle were later released by police in Farmington. Clips from the video were released Wednesday highlighting the empty holster on Allan’s hip and the handgun on the floorboard as his body is removed from the vehicle.

A week after the shooting, the footage was released after the Allan family had criticized the Farmington Police force harshly, accusing them of “stonewalling” rather than answering their questions about the fatal shooting. The family has questioned the number of shots fired and the initial officer’s decision to call for backup, both of which the police chief described as standard procedure.

Aside from the placards on Allan’s car and the released audio from earlier incidents in a local courthouse, which have led to rumors that he and his family are members of the so-called Sovereign Citizen movement, Allan’s noncompliant rhetoric in the footage only adds fuel to the fire. Photographs taken by local media shortly after the incident show a flag sticker on the car, complete with stars and stripes and the words “Utah, American State Citizen.”
Issues like whether or not the government has the authority to impose taxes or mandate license plates are at the heart of the anti-government stance taken by members of the Sovereign Citizen Movement. A small but dedicated following exists, primarily in the western states, where skepticism of central authority runs deep.