SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, June 25, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Demonstrators demanding the results of an investigation into the controversial police shooting death of Bernardo Palacios-Carbajal say they will continue marching on the Salt Lake County District Attorneys Office until the results of that investigation are made public.
Palacios-Carbajal, 22, was shot and killed by Salt Lake City police officers who were investigating reports of an armed robbery at the Trails Gentleman’s Club near the Utah Village Motel, at 901 S. 270 West, in the early morning hours of Saturday, May 23.
A preliminary investigation conducted by the Unified Police Department revealed two officers fired 20 shots at Palacios-Carbajal after he led the Salt Lake City officers on a foot chase spanning several blocks.
Police body-camera video shared by SLCPD on June 5 sparked outrage when it appeared to show officers shooting Palacios-Carbajal in the back.
Police say Palacios-Carbajal was armed and that a weapon was recovered from the scene. It does not appear in the video if the gun was ever pointed at police.
Shortly after the shooting, Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall released a statement apologizing to Palacios-Carbajal’s family. She characterized the police video as “genuinely disturbing” and told investigators to act quickly to provide answers “in a timely manner.”
The District Attorneys Office under D.A. Sim Gill promised to expedite their investigation, but protesters say they need answers now. They’ve been marching on the District Attorneys Office every day for more than a week and the demonstrations are growing in intensity.
The last few days the district attorneys office has been plastered with posters demanding “Justice for Bernardo.” Protestors put them up in the afternoon and evening; authorities remove the signs overnight.
Leaders of the protest say they’ll keep showing up until police are charged in the shooting.
Currently the two officers involved are on paid administrative leave in accordance with department policy.
Tuesday night, police attempted to restrict protesters to city sidewalks, a departure from their previous tactics which allowed demonstrators to march in the streets. The move angered the crowd and cops and protesters suddenly found themselves chin-to-chin.
The confrontation prompted Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall to release a statement Wednesday night saying she’d contacted SLCPD Chief Mike Brown and that “peaceful protests must be permitted to continue without disruption or intimidation.”