SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Dec. 4, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill announced Friday he will not pursue charges against a Salt Lake City Police officer who shoved an elderly man with a cane to the ground near the site of a May protest.
Officer Val Brown, was caught on camera pushing the man who was using a cane at the time of the incident. Brown was holding a riot shield at the time.
“Our decision was based on a review of all evidence presented, including two interviews with Officer Brown’s victim,” says a statement released by Gill’s office.
“Importantly, the victim stated multiple times that he did not support the filing of criminal charges in this matter and would prefer, instead, that the officer’s misconduct be addressed through disciplinary action and training from his employing agency.”
The following statement was attributed directly to Gill:
“This was not an easy decision. Officer Brown’s conduct was unnecessary, inappropriate, and wholly without justification,” Gill said.
“Any time an officer engages in unreasonable force against a member of our community who is engaged in peaceful protest, the officer’s conduct not only victimizes the individual but it also damages the community’s faith in law enforcement and erodes the trust of other residents that they may safely exercise their First Amendment rights free from interference or retaliation.
“Here, however, the individual victim of Officer Brown’s misconduct expressed on two separate occasions, against our Office filing criminal charges against the officer. We have determined to respect the victim’s wishes,” Gill said.
“We hope Salt Lake City will do the same in deciding what additional training and discipline may be appropriate to fully and fairly address Officer Brown’s actions. Had the victim wished charges be filed, we would have done so.”