La Mesa Police Department Officer Matt Dages, involved in the controversial arrest of 23-year-old Amaurie Johnson at the Grossmont Trolley Station on June 27, is no longer employed.
On Aug. 7, the city of La Mesa sent the following statement: “The city of La Mesa and the La Mesa Police Department have received multiple inquiries regarding the status of Matt Dages. Matt Dages is not employed by the city of La Mesa in any capacity.” The city could not comment on whether Dages resigned or was terminated.
In bodycam footage released by the department, images showed Johnson was stopped at the trolley station, allegedly for smoking marijuana in public. The May 27 altercation between Dages and Johnson showed Dages pushing Johnson into a sitting position on a bench. Johnson was eventually arrested for assaulting an officer. More than a week later LMPD dropped the charges and Dages was placed on administrative leave pending the department’s investigation of the incident.
On July 28, LMPD Police Chief Walt Vasquez announced he had reviewed the findings of the independent investigation but did not provide any findings of the investigation.
“I have completed my review of the investigation conducted by the independent, third-party investigators into the Grossmont trolley incident involving police contact with Amaurie Johnson on May 27, ,” Vasquez posted on the LMPD Facebook page.
“The remaining due process steps required by California law will be concluded as soon as possible. California law also requires that I refrain from commenting on the details of the report, conclusions of the investigation or my recommendations at this time.”
On July 29, Johnson filed a lawsuit against the city of La mesa for arrest without probable cause, negligence, excessive force, violence because of race and excessive force.
The lawsuit was filed by the Law Office of Troy P. Owens Jr., A.P.C.
Source: East County Californian