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Mother of man who severed SLC cop’s ear during struggle claims police used excessive force

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Police are investigating an arrest in which an officer had part of his ear severed, and they are trying to determine if the officers involved used excessive force.

Leon Hall, 23, was arrested outside the apartments on 120 South 300 East in Salt Lake City late Tuesday night.

According to police, Hall resisted arrest and got into a scuffle with officers, during which time he used a glass ornament to sever part of an officer's ear. Police then used a baton and Taser to subdue Hall. Part of the arrest was caught on home video.

Hall's mother, who chose not to be identified, said she watched the video, and believes police used excessive force.

"They just kept beating him, boom,boom, boom," she said. "The excessive force from the Salt Lake City Police department, it's really obvious, if you watch the video you can make that decision yourself, I don't have to convince anybody, and I couldn't watch it as his mother, I couldn't see it. I'm heartbroken, I'm angry, a parents' worst nightmare to see something like that."

FOX 13 also showed the video to a Utah criminal defense attorney, who said you could make a case for the suspect and the police.

"The individual is saying stop, so it seems like he is acquiescing to the police authority," said attorney Clayton Simms. "It looked like he was not moving and subdued at one point."

Simms also acknowledged police have the right to use force if they feel it's necessary.

"Severing a body part, so that's obviously a very serious offense," Simms said. "Was he engaged and continuing to fight? And so some of that will just have to be determined later on."

Salt Lake City police are investigating.

"Anytime an officer uses force on the Salt Lake Police Department they have to document the level of force they used and why they used that level of force," said Detective Cody Lougy.

Hall was taken to the hospital for a few hours the night of the arrest before he was booked into jail, where he remains without bond.


  • John Stephenson

    All you can see is shadows so sorry lady, you’d have to convince me. Just another dirtbag looking to make a false claim and hopefully a quick settlement. SLCPD should vigorously fight that. This guy is lucky he wasn’t shot dead. It seems that everyone who fights with police are claiming they have mental issues, like that makes it OK to assault officers and go around banging on peoples doors. Sound familiar? If you have mental issues, STAY ON YOUR MEDS! Too many opt to go off then try to self medicate. If you are uncooperative with the police or get violent with them, don’t expect them to “deescalate” and back off. They won’t and you WILL get hurt.


    @Leon Hall’s Mother:
    If you act like a dangerous animal the police will treat you like a dangerous animal. You obviously failed in your responsibility to teach your son how to behave in decent society.

  • Debbie Turnidge

    I read that he was homeless. Yesterday it was the brother, where have you been up until now mama? Your son was living on the streets. This is not his first run in with law enforcement. It amazes me that when something like this happens family members who should have been helping with the situation cry foul. Bottom line, regardless of your state of mind, you assault a Police Officer you aren’t going to receive red carpet treatment.

  • Richard

    Pure negligence by his brother and mother. Both recognize he has issues, yet neither one willing to help until it’s time to rabble rouse some settlement money out of the police. Shame on you Eli. Shame on you Mother. Point your finger back at yourselves.

  • Mimi

    Oh, of course. It’s always the police officer’s fault. Lady, get a grip on reality. Obviously you never taught your son about natural consequences and how to avoid them or own up to them. Now look where it’s gotten him.


    It is interesting that this mother didn’t express any concern over the officer who had his ear cut off by her son. Reminds me of Darren Hunt’s mother. The one who was arrested for drunk driving and told the trooper”‘You know what I know, you would be very grateful to rape me in my [expletives deleted]”.
    Both women failed in their primary responsibility to teach their children basic decency.

  • Unknown

    Instead of complaining she should be happy that all her son got was tazed and hit a few times with a baton. Better then a bullet in him for acting like an idiot!


    It is real decent of defense attorney Clayton Simms to admit that “police have the right to use force if they feel it’s necessary”.
    Defending pukes, drug addicts, and miscellaneous slim is a dirty job and my sympathies go to the defense attornies who have to dream up excuses for their client’s misbehavior.

    Chris Rock offers hints on how not to get your &ss kicked by the police:


      Generalize much Michael? Salt Lake City’s mayor is a liberal lesbian Democrat and it is her police department you are referring to. Leon Hall earned the consequence of his behavior. The injured officer would have been justified putting several rounds from his duty weapon into this vicious animal.

      • Michael F

        If you’re a Mormon it’s a fact of life you’re a brainless moron who believes the Sun and the Moon were once inhabited, and the garden of Eden was located in Missouri, and that’s where all life on Earth began. If you believe this type of nonsense how can you be equipped of proper critical thinking to understand that this guy might have been fighting for his life after been brutally attached by these officers, you just can’t Butthead (what a fitting name).

      • BUTTHEAD

        @MICHAEL F
        As I pointed out earlier it wasn’t the “mormon’s police force” that used a taser and night sticks to get your buddy’s attention. The Salt Lake City police are under the thumb of the new lesbian mayor. If you don’t like how the police in Salt Lake City deal with animals go blubber to mayor Jackie Biskupski about it. She’s the one running the show.


        I find it interesting how Michael F wants to tie the Mormons, the moon, and the stars, in with the Salt Lake City Police Department. I have no idea whether any of the responding police or their police chief is a Mormon and neither does Michael. Michael is a case study in bigotry and hate.

      • bob

        I know a few Mormons.

        Among them: A Silver Star winner (WW-II), a Bronze Star winner (Vietnam), multiple Purple Heart recipients (various wars), a Distinguished Flying Cross winner (WW-II B-17 pilot with an all-Mormon crew from Utah, 50 combat missions) and a Bataan Death March survivor.

        Pretty cowardly group.

      • BUTTHEAD

        @MICHAEL F
        After your little buddy severed a police officer’s ear he’s lucky to be alive. What Salt Lake City needs is a pest exterminator.


        MICHAEL F’s real problem with the mormons is that they don’t agree with his alternate lifestyle. And his hate and bigotry are obvious.


    For rejects like MICHAEL F who anguish over how the police deal with an animal you really only have two options:
    Option #1: Do something about it.
    Option #2: Learn how to live with it.

    Nothing would please me more than to know that the police gave Leon Hall all he deserved …. and a little extra besides.

  • Stewart McDonald

    Our little buddy Leon Hall is still sitting in jail because he can’t make the $25,000 bail for the felony charge of assault on a police officer.

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