Developing: Salt Lake City mayor, police chief, express remorse over fatal officer-involved shooting in May

May23 Officer Involved Critical Incident body camera release

Posted by SLC Police on Friday, June 5, 2020

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, June 5, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Salt Lake City Police officials on Friday released officers’ body camera footage recorded during a May 23 officer-involved fatal shooting.

The man shot was 22-year-old Bernardo Palacios-Carbajal.

The dark video, which contains graphic and disturbing images and adult language, was presented by police at a news conference first as three individual videos, then as three synchronized videos.

Police were called at about 2 a.m. that Thursday, before the Memorial Day weekend, to Utah Village Motel, 271 W. 900 South, on a report of threats from an armed man.

Two officers on foot found the man walking away, and chased him from a parking area and along a sidewalk. Hearing the radio call, another officer approached in a patrol car, to cut off the suspect’s escape route.

The video shows police catching up with the suspect, Palacios-Carbajal, and at least one yelling repeatedly for him to drop the gun.

More than 20 shots suddenly ring out. Palacios-Carbajal can be seen falling to the ground, and police continue to yell at him to drop the gun and “show us your f***ing hands.”

The videos released ended shortly after the shootings, and did not show the police call for medical assistance, which officials say was placed.

The investigation is being conducted by another agency, in this case the Unified Police Department, as required by OISI protocol.

The two officers who fired their guns are on leave pending the results of the investigation, which is also standard procedure.

At a later news conference, a visibly moved Chief Mike Brown expressed his trust in his police officers, their training and the investigative process surrounding police shootings and other critical incidents.

“I believe with all my heart, the Salt Lake City Police Department has the best officers in the country,” Brown said. “I trust our training. I trust in the investigative process that we have in place to address officer-involved-critical-incidents. Most importantly, I trust our officers.

“I love the men and women of the Salt Lake City Police Department,” Brown said.

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall also appeared at the Friday afternoon press conference. She said she was sorry for what happened, and expressed sympathy to the family and friends of Palacios-Carbajal.

Mendenhall’s full statement is below:

I want to start today by saying to the family and friends of Bernardo Palacios-Carbajal.

I am sorry. No one should go through what you are experiencing right now, and no words can make up for the loss you have experienced. As a sister, and mother, what I see and hear in this video is genuinely disturbing and upsetting.

I know that an independent investigation is occurring now and we will learn more about these tragic events in the coming days. Due process is a fundamental right in the United States. As mayor I am cautious about stating any opinion that could lead to accusations of an unfair or biased investigation for the sake of the family of Bernardo Palacios-Carbajal and the officers involved.

I urge expediency in this process so that everyone can get the answers they deserve. Transparency and direct accountability is being demanded of police departments across the nation, and I will always demand it of ours as well as I know they have always demanded it of themselves.

Right now, given all that our country is going through, in particular the rawness and fear that so many people of color are feeling, outrage is understandable. I know that I haven’t walked in your shoes. But I will walk with you, I hear you and I accept the work that is being asked of us. We have great work to do in the days, weeks, and months ahead. We must channel our collective anger into progress and change.

I can say unequivocally that as a mother, a sister, and a human, my heart is with Bernardo’s family today. I am sincerely sorry for the loss of your son, brother, friend, community member.

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