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Palacios Carbajal Family Files Lawsuit Against SLCPD In Fatal Shooting

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The family of 22-year-old Benardo Palacios Carbajal has filed a lawsuit against the Salt Lake City Police Department and the officers who shot and killed him last May.

The 19-page complaint was filed in the Third Judicial Court in Salt Lake County Friday afternoon. The complaint said damages are to be determined at trial.

The family released a statement through their lawyers.

“It is with heavy hearts today that we announce the Palacios Carbajal Family’s decision to move forward with a lawsuit against the Salt Lake City Police Department and the officers who took Bernardo’s life when they shot him in the back 34 times,” read the public statement.

The complaint lists Salt Lake City Police Officers Keven Fortuna and Neil Iverson, Chief Mike Brown and Salt Lake City Corporation as defendants as well as “Doe Defendants 1 Through 10.”

“Despite the family’s attempts to negotiate, it is apparent that the SLCPD and the Salt Lake City Mayor’s Office is not interested in real reform,” the statement added. “It is further apparent that the recent proposed changes and statements made by public officials have simply been hollow words designed to placate a discouraged and frustrated public.”

In early August, Salt Lake County District Attorney Sam Gill announced the findings of an investigation that ruled officers were justified in the use of deadly force in the incident.

The incident happened May 23 when officers responded to a call about threats with a gun near 900 South and 300 West.

Officers made contact with Palacios Carbajal who was shot while running from police.

Body camera footage showed officers fired at least 20 shots as Palacios-Carbajal ran away, tripping and falling multiple times.

At one point, he can be seen picking something up from the ground while fleeing before the officers opened fire.

The complaint alleges none of the officers identified themselves as police and “at no time prior to the shooting did Mr. Palacios make any threatening gestures toward the police officers nor did he point a weapon at the officers.” It also said the use of deadly force was “unreasonable, excessive and unnecessary.”

The family thanked community members who have shown support to the family and who have called for justice and accountability following the critical incident.

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