Officer Dages Fired: Brandon Tatum Sounds Off

On a YouTube Live Stream, Brandon Tatum shed light on La Mesa Police Officer Matt Dages’ firing and pending criminal charges. On May 27, 2020, the incident took place when then-Officer Dages witnessed what appeared to be a man smoking on the platform of the Grossmont trolley station. That man was identified as Amaurie Johnson. Officer Dages attempted to detain him.

After a struggle where Johnson acts irrational and aggressive toward Dages, Johnson strikes Dages arm, “knocking him off balance” Johnson was ultimately arrested for assaulting a peace officer, according to the official police report.

Dages is accused of illegally approaching and detaining Johnson, therefore falsifying the reason for the arrest and lying about Johnson’s behavior at the time of the incident. Dages and his attorney, Kasey Castillo, entered a not guilty plea on Tuesday. In addition, Matt Dages was charged with one count of falsifying a police report.

The police department has claimed in the past they will not rush to judgment before deciding officers’ fates. If you believe the La Mesa Police Department who said they “have worked closely with the San Diego District Attorney’s Office over the past several months on this matter,” you would assume that Matt Dages is guilty. However, Brandon Tatum commented that it “blew [his] mind” that there is even a possibility that this officer got fired.

Brandon puts the video into context, saying, “He encounters the brother. He sees him from a distance what appears to be smoking cigarettes.” Brandon Tatum points out that you can see the “sign says you can’t smoke.” “Right there, he’s already in a violation of a law- an ordinance from this particular area.”

The video shows Johnson becomes agitated and aggressive when Officer Dages instructed him that he is breaking the ordinance. Tatum said, “This is what people don’t understand. He goes from here (pointing to the suspect sitting on the ground) look at how he is posturing up.” The video then shows the suspect jolt up and get in an aggressive stance. Brandon said that Johnson is heard calling the officer an n-word” and that Johnson “calls all of them n-words.”

“He’s threatening them. He is saying he is going to kick the officer’s you-know-what. All of these things the brother is saying, and yet the police officer is getting arrested, and this guy is being held up like he’s some type of god,” remarked Brandon Tatum.

Tatum explains step by step through watching the footage what is happening through the eyes of an officer. He points out Johnson’s “bladed stance,” “balling his fists up,” and “getting in the officer’s face.”

Tatum goes on to show pictures and the entire case report to give even deeper context for this whole situation.

With that in mind, it’s time for the Tatum Squad to step up and have this officer’s six when the brass won’t.

San Diego District Attorney Summer Stephan: 619-531-4040 (press #2 to speak with a live person) or [email protected]

La Mesa Police Department, specifically Captain Ray Sweeney and Captain Nicholass 619-667-1400



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  1. This officer was doing his job. I completely support his legal actions. The perp was breaking the law and being agressive. This officer should not have been fired.

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