A Utah man was killed during a police traffic stop. His family say they’ve been ‘stonewalled’ by authorities
Chase Allan was fatally shot by police in Farmington, Utah, during a traffic stop on 1 March. While the department has claimed that Allan refused to exit his vehicle and cooperate with their orders, his mother Diana Allan contends that he was “brutal[ly] murder[ed].”
Ms Allan, who was stopped by Farmington police nearly a year before a similar incident would prove fatal for her son, said in a statement that her family learned about the tragic news through media reports of the shooting and that they have been “stonewalled” by law enforcement.
Body camera footage of the incident has yet to be released, but a description of the events as narrated by law enforcement states that officers saw a gun on the driver-side floorboard of the car — in Utah, it is legal to open carry a registered weapon if the carrier owns the vehicle.
Five police officers have been placed on administrative leave following department policy.
As an investigation by the Davis County Critical Incident Protocol Team unfolds, Allan’s family continues to demand answers.
Altercation escalated after officers spotted handgun
The shooting took place during what police have said was a regular traffic stop. The stop, reportedly conducted because the vehicle Allan was driving had an “illegitimate license,” took place around 3.20pm on 1 March outside a United States Postal Service office.
According to a statement by police, responding officers requested that Allan provide identification but he refused to do so, stating that he was not required to cooperate, local ABC4 reported. Two other officers, a trainee and a supervisor, were called to assist but Allan continued to refuse to cooperate.
Police say Allan only rolled down his window a few inches and that repeated attempts to make him exit the vehicle were fruitless.
An officer eventually opened the car door, while another tried to make him get out of the car. A third officer then reportedly alerted his colleagues yelling ‘gun! gun!’ after spotting a weapon on the floorboard of the car. Allan and the officers wrestled for mere seconds before the officers opened fire.
Allan also had an empty holster on his right hip.
“Video footage is only one part of complete comprehension of the incident, and we recognize that our understanding of the incident may change as more information and evidence is gathered and analyzed,” a spokesperson for the department told ABC. “We don’t draw any final conclusions regarding the actions of the officers until the protocol investigation has been completed.”
At 3.31pm on the day of the incident, just four minutes after the shooting unfolded, Farmington police officers who were not on the scene were instructed to turn their body cameras off. At 3.46pm, officers at the scene of the shooting were also asked to turn their cameras off, Fox reported.
Police Chief Eric Johnsen told the station that the previous is part of department policy and it is done so investigators don’t spend more time reviewing footage that might be irrelevant to the shooting. Mr Johnsen then collected the footage from the five officers involved in the shooting.
Bodycam footage will be released at a later date. The Independent has reached out to the Farmington Police Department for comment.
“That’s how we trained and I know my guys and I’m certain if they fired shots, they were in fear of their lives,” Chief Eric Johnsen told Fox13.
Victim ‘asserted his independence from the laws of the land’
It has since emerged that Allan’s mother, Diane Killian Allan, claimed in a September 2022 lawsuit that she is a sovereign citizen and is not under the jurisdiction of Farmington City or any United States government, local ABC4 first reported.
The suit, reviewed by The Independent, stemmed from an April 2022 traffic stop for an expired vehicle registration — the same reason her son would be stopped a year later.
While it is unclear whether Chase Allan considered himself a sovereign citizen, a press release last week by Farmington Police stated that he “asserted his independence from the laws of the land” and refused to cooperate with officers.
According to the Justice Department, members of the Sovereign Citizen Movement (SCM) are “an extreme anti-government movement whose members believe the government has no authority over them.”
Back in September, Diane Killian Allan said she had an “inherent right” right to travel in Farmington without being stopped by police. She also claimed in the lawsuit that after asserting her “inherent right,” she had a heated argument with then-lieutenant Johnsen and that he then threw the paper citation through her window.
Chase Allan, who would be killed nearly a year later by the same police department, was named as a witness in the lawsuit. He and his mother visited the Farmington Police department to return the “rescissioned citation” he had thrown inside her car.
“[Johnsen] then stated that if Plaintiff didn’t register her vehicle it would be impounded. The witness then stated ‘that’s a threat’ to which [Johnsen] replied ‘no, it’s a promise, it’s a promise,’” the lawsuit read.
Family say they found out about tragedy through media reports
Allan’s family told Fox 13 News last week that after his “devastating and tragic” death, police “stonewalled” them.
Ms Allan told the local TV station in a statement that “our family has not been permitted to see Chase and has not been contacted by authorities or justice departments with information surrounding this investigation”.
“Our family was not properly notified of Chase’s death as next of kin. We found out about Chase’s death along with the entirety of our community via news reporters and articles written online,” she added.
Ms Allan wrote that her son was “likely terrified for his safety” during the shooting. She added that law enforcement discharged their weapons at his car at least 12 times.
Allan graduated from Davis High School in 2016 and went on to play soccer at the University of California, Davis and Utah State University.
His mother said he had recently been studying law. She described him as “a gracious, loving soul who was known by everyone in his community to be caring, thoughtful, and kind and would do anything for someone in need”.
Mr Allan was living at home in the area where he grew up at the time of his death.
“Although he had a shy and quiet demeanor, he was able to make quick friends who cared about Chase deeply and will remember him fondly,” Ms Allan wrote.
She added that he “was a patriot doing what he could to defend the people’s freedom and liberty in his community”.
The mother said the family has “learned more from media coverage about what occurred than anywhere else” and that “Officers claim it was a routine traffic stop, yet the officer requested multiple other officers to the scene a couple blocks prior to the stop”.
“This resulted in the brutal murder of Chase at the hands of 5 Farmington Police officers, with them shooting him while he was still in his automobile and likely terrified for his safety. They shot 12 plus rounds at him while he was still inside the car with the engine running and lights on when reporters arrived,” she said.
Ms Allan said in her statement on Friday that her family had not been contacted by authorities with information surrounding this investigation.