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Former La Mesa officer's appeal rejected by city

matthew dages-amaurie johnson-la mesa.jpeg
Posted at 6:09 PM, Dec 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-09 21:09:35-05

LA MESA, Calif. (KGTV) — A personnel appeal board rejected an appeal filed by former La Mesa Police officer Matthew Dages, who was fired over a viral video showing him push a man into a seated position at a trolley stop.

Dages was terminated in August over the video that surfaced in June, showing him push a black man into a sitting position on a bench, and handcuffing him and arresting him at Grossmont Trolley Station.

The man, 23-year-old Amaurie Johnson, was told he was arrested for assaulting an officer.

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After bodycam video of the arrest was released, La Mesa Police Department dropped charges against Johnson and placed Dages on administrative leave pending an investigation.

Dages was eventually fired by former La Mesa Police Chief Walt Vasquez.

The city said in a release that the Personnel Appeals Board of the City of La Mesa has "upheld the decision of the Police Chief to terminate the employment of Dages. The Board’s decision is final and no further appeal is available through the City (including an appeal to the City Council)."