By Miriam Raftery
Screenshot from video via Instagram: Officer Matt Dages and Amaurie Johnson in controversial stop
August 8, 2020 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa Police officer involved in the controversial stop of a young Black man near the Grossmont trolley stop on May 28 is “not employed by the City of La Mesa in any capacity,” the city announced yesterday. The incident, widely viewed as racial profiling, ignited rage that exploded in a devastating riot two nights later.
The city's terse statement provided no details on whether Officer Matt Dages resigned or was terminated, nor whether any wrongdoing was found in an investigation. He was placed on administrative leave pending an external investigation, the results of which have not been made public.
An assault charge against Amaurie Johnson, 23, was dropped after body camera footage failed to substantiate Officer Dages' version of the incident.
The announcement of Dages' departure has drawn reactions ranging from relief to calls for greater accountability and transparency.