Utah law on officer-involved shootings

News

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Salt Lake County District Attorney expects to have a ruling this week in the officer-involved shooting death of Bernardo Palacios-Carbajal.

“Unless something unforeseen happens, then we’ll adjust appropriately,” Sim Gill told ABC4 News.

Palacios-Carbajal died after he was shot more than 20 times by Salt Lake City Police, back on May 23, according to documents.

While Utah awaits the District Attorney’s decision, ABC4 looked into Utah’s law on deadly force.

“Our job then of course, is to find out what was the perception of the officer, what could they actually see at the moment that they decided to pull the trigger, and what were the surrounding facts,” Gill explained.

“At the current state, the the bar is fairly low, in terms of what constitutes a justified use of force, while the prosecution burden is really high. That’s just the reality. I don’t care whether you agree with it or not. It’s just a factual observation,” said Gill.

Sim Gill took office in 2010 and has since reviewed 99 officer-involved critical incidents. Seven were ruled ‘not justified,’ and his office didn’t file charges in three.

“I don’t create the law. We follow and apply the law whether you agree with it or not.”

“If the outcomes don’t line up with the ideals that we have, or we think that the outcomes ought to be different, then we ought to really seriously look at changing the law,” Gill told ABC4’s Brittany Johnson.

“It’s not about just going out in the street and protesting. It also means registering to vote and electing people and going up on the hill and having that conversation, which is a policy conversation with our legislators to say that we want to change the law in this way.”

Coming up Tuesday night on the ABC4 News at 10, Brittany Johnson will have part two of this report. She takes a look into the DA’s process of investigating and analyzing officer-involved shootings.

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Brittany Johnson
Brittany prides herself on seeking the truth about everyday issues in the community and providing citizens with the information they need to make the best possible decisions.

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