SLC PROTEST

Efforts Underway To Review Utah’s Use-Of-Force Laws

Jul 10, 2020, 7:07 PM | Updated: Oct 30, 2022, 11:11 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall has called for changes to city policies and Utah’s laws that dictate when officers are allowed to use lethal force.

“It’s important to me that both our officers and the public be made more safe by whatever changes might be contemplated,” she said.

During an hour-long meeting with the KSL and Deseret News editorial boards Friday, Mendenhall said Utah’s current statutes allow for too much leniency when it comes to the use of deadly tactics by police.

“I think we’re at the beginning of the technical contemplation of how that state code could change,” she said.

The comments came a day after Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill announced that his office determined that two city officers were justified in the shooting death of Bernardo Palacios-Carbajal.

“I think that there was more evidence than I expected to show the justification of the actions of the Salt Lake City police officers,” Mendenhall said, adding that Gill’s decision showed officers acted according to the law and their trainings.

However, Mendenhall said that there is “a moral disconnect for many people between what is justified today and what the law should be reshaped to reflect morally, somehow, in the future.”

The mayor also called for peaceful protests and for citizens to allow time for various groups to start the process of reviewing policies and laws.

“I implore people to stop hurting people and stop breaking things because it is not affecting change whatsoever,” Mendenhall said.

During his announcement about the Palacios-Carbajal investigation, Gill said that he will soon be releasing his own recommendations on reforms.

“My office will release a set of proposals to start the conversation on how those laws may be changed and go through that process to make sure that it reflects the ideals and the values that we want as a community,” Gill said. “If we want different outcomes, then we need to change the law.”

Salt Lake City’s newly-formed Racial Equity In Policing Commission issued a statement saying that communities of color are tired after repeatedly asking for change.

“As acknowledged by the Salt Lake County DA himself today, our standards for deadly force are too broad,” the commission said. “There is a gap in this instance, and in other policies and practices both in Salt Lake City and throughout our state, between what is legal and what is truly right and just.”

The commission’s statement also spoke directly to the Palacios family.

“We know that our words cannot begin to help you heal, but our intent is that you may someday find solace in our actions and efforts to ensure that no family should ever find themselves in the position you are in now,” the statement read.

The Salt Lake City Police Department Citizens Advisory Board also released a statement requesting that standards be implemented to ban the use of deadly force when preventing a fleeing suspect from escaping.

“We believe that shooting Bernardo in excess of 30 times as he was running away from officers was an egregious misuse of force,” the advisory board’s statement said. “These are not acceptable actions representative of the manner of policing we support and want to continue seeing implemented in our community.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

SLC Protest

Rioters flipped and set a Salt Lake City Police car on fire during the riot in Downtown on May 30, ...
Dan Rascon, KSL TV

No jail time for man who set police car on fire during 2020 riots in SLC

A federal judge granted mercy to a man who set fire to a Salt Lake City police car during the 2020 riots in downtown. 
10 months ago
Rioters flipped and set a Salt Lake City Police car on fire during the riot in Downtown on May 30, ...
Alex Cabrero, KSL TV

SLC Police Chief Reflects On Downtown Riot Nearly One Year Later

Protests and riots broke out around the country a year ago following the death of George Floyd. That unrest later spread to Salt Lake City where a police car was flipped and lit on fire. Police Chief Mike Brown sat down with KSL-TV nearly a year later to reflect back on the day that changed the city and his department. 
2 years ago
Body camera footage obtained exclusively by KSL TV shows the moment a protester threw a rock at a S...
Alex Cabrero

Remembering A Summer Filled With Protests In Utah

In a year marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, a presidential election, and even a serious earthquake, one of the biggest stories here in Utah is what happened on a Saturday afternoon in May. A protest in downtown Salt Lake City turned violent, leaving us with images many never thought we'd see here.
2 years ago
Protesters and police officers line a street in downtown Salt Lake City Saturday, May 30, 2020. (Sh...
Matthew Jacobson, KSL TV

SLCPD Officer Who Pushed Elderly Man During Protest Will Not Be Charged

At the request of the victim, no criminal charges will be filed against an officer who was captured on video pushing an elderly man to the ground during a protest in Salt Lake City.
2 years ago
...
Tania Dean, KSL TV

Protestors March To State Capitol Armed With Guns

A group of protestors marched to the Capitol to rally against police brutality and in favor of equality, but the difference in Sunday's rally was that most of the protestors were armed with semi-automatic weapons.
2 years ago
FILE: Salt Lake City County Building (Getty Images)...
Matt Rascon, KSL TV

SLC’s Commission On Racial Equity Holds First Weekly Meeting

Salt Lake City's newly-formed commission on racial equity met for the first time Wednesday.
2 years ago

Sponsored Articles

notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Efforts Underway To Review Utah’s Use-Of-Force Laws