Westminster Police Department Statement

Written on 01/20/2022
Cheri Spottke

Date – January 19, 2022

The Westminster Police Department was notified on January 18, 2022 of a lawsuit filed in US District Court regarding allegations of excessive force by two of our officers. 

The Westminster Police Department (WPD) did not receive a complaint of excessive force regarding this case prior to the notice of intent to sue from Mr. Shriver in April 2021—nearly a year after the arrest. WPD takes use-of-force seriously, and upon notice from Mr. Shriver’s attorney, WPD initiated an internal affairs investigation per department policy.  The case was investigated by an internal affairs sergeant who gathered the facts, collected evidence, and completed witness interviews.  Three independent, civilian witnesses refuted the allegation of excessive force in this case.  

These facts were then presented to an independent civilian review board to determine if the officers acted within policy and procedure. The board determined both officers acted within policy and procedure. The investigation was also reviewed by police department command personnel who determined the officer’s actions were within policy and procedure.  

Prior to the notice of intent to sue, Officer Michael Owen resigned from the department in February 2021 as a Senior Police Officer.  Officer Tyler Farson also resigned from the department in May 2021 as a Senior Police Officer.  Both officers left the department to pursue other opportunities and their departure was unrelated to Mr. Shriver. WPD officers were not equipped with body-worn cameras until January 2022. However, the surveillance footage from inside of the store was reviewed during the internal investigation. 

We are not able to comment further due to the pending litigation. 

You can view the entire video on our YouTube channel:


Background on Mr. Shriver’s Arrest: The Westminster Police Department was notified on January 18, 2022 of a lawsuit filed in US District Court regarding allegations of excessive force by two of our officers. 

The original incident occurred on May 15, 2020 at a Walmart located in the City of Westminster. Officer Michael Owen was at this location on a separate incident when Walmart staff asked for his assistance with a subject, Clayton Shriver, who was creating a disturbance near the McDonalds, which is located inside of the store. 

Officer Owen responded to the area and attempted to de-escalate Mr. Shriver for several minutes and ascertain what had occurred.  It appeared that Mr. Shriver was involved in a disturbance over his refusal to leave the premises. 

Officer Owen told Mr. Shriver he was not free to leave as he was awaiting a secondary officer to determine if a crime had been committed.  Mr. Shriver became agitated and began to yell profanities.  He then stood up and attempted to push away from the officer, who had been standing several feet away.  After that happened, Mr. Shriver began to walk away from Officer Owen.  When that occurred, Officer Owen told Mr. Shriver he was under arrest and attempted to place him in custody.  Mr. Shriver resisted Officer Owen by kicking him while they were on the ground.  Officer Owen deployed his TASER in an attempt thwart the assault and take control of Mr. Shriver and get him into custody.  Officer Farson arrived to help Officer Owen take Mr. Shriver into custody. 

Mr. Shriver was charged in this incident and was given a deferred prosecution.  Upon successful completion of the requirements of the court, the case was dismissed. 

It should be noted all persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.