The family of a 22-year-old shot and killed by Salt Lake City police officers in May have filed a wrongful death lawsuit, alleging that officers fatally shot him even though he didn’t “present an immediate danger or threat to the officers.”
“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,” attorneys for the family said in a statement. “Despite the family’s attempts to negotiate, it is apparent that the [Salt Lake City Police Department] and the Salt Lake City Mayor’s Office is not interested in real reform.”
The lawsuit was filed Friday in 3rd District Court.
Bernardo Palacios-Carbajal was shot May 23 after police received a call around 2 a.m. someone had threatened two people at gunpoint. Officers later chased him through the streets, eventually firing more than 30 rounds at him after he dropped and picked up a handgun three times.
Palacios-Carbajal’s death prompted protests throughout the summer in Salt Lake City, including the day District Attorney Sim Gill announced his office’s decision in the case. Some protesters that night spilled paint and broke windows at the district attorney’s downtown office building.
The lawsuit accuses the officers of using excessive force in initially shooting Palacios-Carbajal and for the bullets fired at him while he was on the ground.
“Rather than utilize other less deadly meansoof detaining Mr. Palacios, including the use of a Taser as was ordered by Sgt. Schneider, the defendant ffficers defaulted to their pistols to effect deadly force, in violation of Mr. Palacios’ established constitutional rights,” the lawsuit states.
It also alleges violations of the Civil Rights Act of 1871 and violations of the Utah Constitution.
This story is developing and will be updated.
Lawsuit accuses Salt Lake City police officers of using excessive force in fatal shooting of Bernardo Palacios-Carbajal /p>