LOCAL NEWS

Brother of victim in police shooting earlier this month speaks out

Apr 15, 2024, 10:26 PM | Updated: 10:44 pm

SALT LAKE CITY For the first time, the family of a man shot and killed by Salt Lake City police officers two weeks ago is speaking out.

Body camera video of the incident was released Monday. Cameron Cloward’s brother, Morgan Cloward, stopped by Salt Lake City Police Department headquarters to watch it.  

“The police’s job is de-escalation,” Morgan Cloward told KSL TV. “I saw no attempts at that.” 

He said his brother was having a mental health episode at the time this all played out. 

He believes officers who are trained to deal with these kinds of situations failed his brother and now he wants justice. 

Moments before police arrived  at the scene at 875 S. State Street, the store clerk at Charlie’s called 911 saying Cameron Cloward tried to stab him for cigarettes. He came back at Cameron Cloward with a baseball bat and locked him out. Morgan Cloward said his brother didn’t need guns drawn. He needed trained officers who can recognize someone in a mental health crisis. 

“They didn’t look for any of those signs, body language, you know, disorientation,” Cloward Morgan said. 

Making a bad situation even worse

He believes their actions turned a bad situation into deadly one. 

“If anyone escalated that situation, it wasn’t Cameron,” Morgan Cloward said. “It was them. and he didn’t have to die.” 

Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown released a statement Monday. 

“Any loss of life is tragic, and the use of deadly force is a traumatic event for our officers. This situation unfolded very quickly and involved safety risks to our community and officers. Our officers are trained to perceive, interpret, and respond to a person’s actions.

The body-worn camera footage released today shows our officers urging, and ordering, Mr. Cloward to put down his knife and to stop walking toward them.”

‘I don’t understand’

Morgan Cloward said he told Brown and others present as he viewed the video that they responded the wrong way. 

“I don’t understand why they kept firing even after he was on the ground,” Morgan Cloward said. 

Morgan Cloward said his brother was diagnosed as autistc 15-years ago and suffered from schizophrenia. 

He said his brother was a talented pianist and gifted in math and science, and now he wants change. 

“Cameron was loved. he was loved by the community,” Morgan Cloward said. “He was loved by me, he’s loved by my dad, he’s loved by my siblings and he’s gone because of complete negligence.” 

The four officers involved are on paid leave pending an investigation as to weather deadly force is justified. 

A law went into effect in May of 2021 for all police officers in Utah to have training in intervention responses to autism and other mental illnesses. Morgan Cloward said his brother’s interaction with police shows more training is needed. 

KSL 5 TV Live

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Brother of victim in police shooting earlier this month speaks out