SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Hundreds of people marched through the streets of Salt Lake City calling for an end to systematic racism, justice for Black Americans who have died while in police custody and for Bernardo Palacios-Carbajal.
Palacios-Carbajal died in an officer-involved shooting with Salt Lake City Police on May 23rd.
“Unfortunately I saw the video,” said Cameron Hodges of Salt Lake County. It is very sad to see and know that’s how someone lost their life. Me personally, I don’t think anyone on this earth should control somebody’s life — whether they live or die.”
Utahns said they will continue to gather until Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill makes a decision as to whether or not police officers were justified to use lethal force.
“What factors do you weigh when determining whether an incident like this is justified or not?” ABC4’s Brittany Johnson asked the District Attorney.
“When you look at a video you see it in regular speed and the frames that are presented, and sometimes there’s not a context to it,” explained Gill. Our job is to gather the evidence.”
After gathering evidence, Gill said his team then looks to see what the law is.
“In the state of Utah and many other states in the country, lethal force is allowed to be used in certain conditions. If those conditions are met, then what the statute says is, that it’s an affirmative defense to any prosecution. Those are the realities that we have to deal with. We look to see what those facts are and how they fit into this statute and whether they have a safe harbor use of that lethal force.”
“It has nothing to do with whether you or I agree with it or we may want different outcomes, but those are the considerations we have to look at and the limitations that are put on by the legislature on every prosecutor.”
While the DA says he supports and hears the protesters loud and clear, he told ABC4 News that he also has to abide by the law, which he says comes with restraints and limitations handed down from the legislature.
“Everything they do and everything that they say, I always pay attention. But I also have a responsibility. It’s not about what I want to do, it’s about what the legislature allows me to do in terms of the statutes they’ve created,” he said.
“Legislation needs to listen up,” Rae Duckworth of Salt Lake County, said. “They’ve heard us, they’ve kneed with us. They know that we’re here and we’re not going to stop.”
Sim Gill says his office received the case on Tuesday. He is reviewing all of the evidence and will make a decision on the case soon.