Man claims rights were violated during confrontation with Mesa Police

Posted at 10:27 PM, Apr 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-13 01:27:27-04

Mesa Police were called to an apartment after a neighbor reported a domestic violence incident in progress back on Jan. 8, 2017.

According to police reports, officers responded to the Sage Apartments near Southern and Dobson around 8 p.m.

Officers heard voices and sounds coming from an adjacent apartment, not the one they were originally there for and began to investigate.

Officers noted they saw several people inside the apartment and attempted to get them to answer the door.

Body camera shows officers taking to a male for several minutes and attempting to get inside of the apartment.

They told the man they needed to check on the safety and welfare of a woman.

“We need to make sure no one is bloodied, dying, or dead inside,” an officer is heard saying.

After several minutes, police supervisors arrived and tried to get the male to answer the door. Still, no luck and the male refused.

Tensions grew, and Mesa Police eventually got a battering ram from a patrol car.

The man, later identified as Anthony Knierim, opened the door.

Body camera shows officers ordering Knierim to the ground. Knierim did not immediately comply with officers and he was shot with several less-lethal bean bag rounds.

He was also Tased at least three times.

"I'm like still in shock that they are shooting at me and coming into my house," Knierim said.

Knierim explained that he was bruised and bloodied from the bean bag gun and Taser probes.

Knierim said he was with his girlfriend and two other friends watching Resident Evil back in January when police showed up to his door.

"At the time they showed up, I just assumed they were there because my movie was up loud," Knierim said.

Knierim said he know his rights, and did not want police inside his home without a warrant.

In newly released documents, police say they had "exigent" circumstances and needed to check the apartment without delay for a possibly injured woman.

By law, police can enter a home without a warrant if they believe a person is in imminent danger.

"Being a former police officer, I was shocked," said Attorney Anthony Ramirez, with My AZ Lawyers, representing Knierim.

Ramirez plans to file a notice of claim against police for a civil rights violation.

"I firmly believe in complying with Police, if somebody is some inside their home and do not want to speak to the police, then I think that should be respected,” said Ramirez.

ABC15 has confirmed with the Mesa Police Department that they have launched an internal affairs investigation.

By law, they cannot comment on what happened until the investigation is over.