A former officer of the law will soon be defending himself in court against charges he falsified a police report that claimed a Black man was smoking marijuana in public, according to CBS 8.
Matthew Dages, 30, is at the center of an investigation that revealed he filed the false report on May 27, 2020, against Amaurie Johnson, 23.
Johnson’s arrest warranted special attention, as it was happened two days after the unlawful detainment of George Floyd made national news.
Dages, who was employed by the police department in La Mesa, California, since 2018, was fired in August 2020.
Johnson, who eventually was given a citation, then cleared of all charges once former La Mesa Police Department Chief Walt Vasquez and the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office reviewed the evidence, has filed a lawsuit against Dages and the city of La Mesa.
According to the court papers filed on behalf of Johnson, he was standing outside an apartment complex waiting on a ride from friends when officers approached him. Johnson attempted to walk away from Dages, but was pushed and then “violently grabbed” by the arm. His body was then “forcefully jerked,” and he was “aggressively pushed” into a seated position. Video footage confirms that Johnson ultimately was placed in an arm-bar by Dages as well.
“Obviously nobody going nowhere,” Johnson is seen and heard saying on bodycam footage, as well as cellphone video taken by his friends. “Get the f— up off of me. What the f— is you grabbing me for, bruh? You look goofy as hell, bro. Stop touching me. I told you I was waiting for someone to come here. They right here, bro.”
Dages is accused of “falsifying the reason for Johnson’s detention as well as his actions,” according to the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office. If convicted, the former officer faces three years in state prison.
“I think it’s relief in seeing that something is actually being done,” Troy Owens, the attorney representing Johnson, told CBS 8, “and that this is not just a situation that’s being swept under the rug.”
Dages is set to be arraigned on March 9, 2021.
View the disturbing footage on the next page.