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Beaver County sheriff cleared in excessive force investigation

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Beaver County Sheriff Cameron Noel said he was relieved to hear that the U.S. Department of Justice found no evidence of any wrongdoing in connection with an incident in 2014, in which he was accused of using excessive force against a man. In an interview

Beaver County Sheriff Cameron Noel said he was relieved to hear that the U.S. Department of Justice found no evidence of any wrongdoing in connection with an incident in 2014, in which he was accused of using excessive force against a man. In an interview in Beaver on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016, he said, “It’s been a long time coming, but I’m glad it’s over.”

Mike Radice, Deseret News

BEAVER — After a nearly two-year long investigation into allegations of excessive use of force, Beaver County Sheriff Cameron Noel has been cleared of any wrongdoing.

Noel learned the news a few weeks ago when representatives from the U.S. Department of Justice said they found no evidence to go forward. All the claims against the sheriff were cleared.

"I was very relieved, to say the least — not that I didn't think it was going to happen," Noel said.

The allegations stemmed from an incident in 2014 when two other deputies accused the sheriff of using excessive force against a man outside a hotel. That man's mother had just stabbed and killed her husband. When Noel was putting the man in a patrol car for questioning, the sheriff said the man started yelling at him, head-butting him and biting him.

"There are times (law enforcement officers) have to use force to protect themselves or to protect others, and that was the situation I was in," Noel said.

It wasn't just the Department of Justice, but the Utah Attorney General's Office, the Utah Peace Officer Standards and Training, and Millard County all investigated the excessive force claim.

"I think it speaks well of Cameron, because you had all these different agencies who investigated this; they all came to the same conclusion," said Peter Stirba, Noel's attorney.

Noel knows there will still be some people who don't believe him, especially with law enforcement excessive force claims making news across the country, but his case is closed.

"It's been a long time coming, but I'm glad it's over," Noel said.

Email: acabrero@deseretnews.com