Protesters vandalise DA’s office after Utah police shoot man

Outraged protesters smashed the windows of a Utah government building and smeared red paint to mimic blood after two officers who fatally shot a 22-year-old 34 times in the back as he ran away escaped charges since the killing was justified under state law. 

One police officer was injured and two residents were arrested late Thursday night in Salt Lake City after DA Sim Gill announced officers Neil Iversen and Kevin Fortuna wouldn’t face charges in the death of Bernardo Palacios-Carbajal.  

The decision was an irredeemable blow to community members and activists who for weeks gathered away from Salt Lake County District Attorney’s office to demand a full investigative report into Palacios-Carbajal’s death. 

Bernardo Palacios-Carbajal was gunned down by officers Iversen and Fortuna outside Utah Village Motel in early hours of May 23 after they responded to reports of a suspect ‘making threats with a weapon’.

The Salt Lake City Police Department and protesters fighting against police brutality clashed in a volatile exchange on Thursday after District Attorney Sim Gill announced two officers would not be charged in the death of 22-year-old Bernardo Palacios-Carbajal

District Attorney Sim Gill inspects the damage to the district attorney's office on Friday after protesters covered it with red paint and protest signs reading 'Justice for Bernardo'

District Attorney Sim Gill inspects the harm to the district attorney’s office on Friday after protesters covered it with red paint and protest signs reading ‘Justice for Bernardo’

Several protesters dipped their hands in the red paint left a series of hand prints across the District Attorney office's front entrance sign and across glass windows covered in 'Justice for Bernardo' protest signs

Several protesters dipped their hands at a negative balance paint left a series of hand prints throughout the District Attorney office’s front entrance sign and across glass windows covered in ‘Justice for Bernardo’ protest signs 

A group of more than 300 people gathered outside the Salt Lake County District Attorney's office Thursday evening to cover the exterior in red paint meant to symbolize the blood on DA Sim Gill's hands over his decision on the Palacios-Carbajal case

A group of a lot more than 300 people gathered outside the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s office Thursday evening to cover the exterior in red paint meant to symbolize the blood on DA Sim Gill’s hands over his decision on the Palacios-Carbajal case

Police officers were seen in cell phone footage charging at peaceful protesters near the District Attorney's office on Thursday, as well as roughly shoving them back with riot shields and hitting several with batons

Police officers were seen in mobile phone footage charging at peaceful protesters nearby the District Attorney’s office on Thursday, along with roughly shoving them straight back with riot shields and hitting a few with batons 

Bernardo Palacios-Carbajal (pictured), 22, was shot dead by Salt Lake City officers Neil Iversen and Kevin Fortuna on May 23 outside a Utah Village Motel as he ran away from them

Bernardo Palacios-Carbajal (pictured), 22, was shot dead by Salt Lake City officers Neil Iversen and Kevin Fortuna on May 23 outside a Utah Village Motel as he ran away from them 

Officers shot at Palacios-Carbaja three dozen times, hitting him 13 to 15 times, after they claimed that he was armed and they feared for their lives as that he ran far from them.

Gill said under Utah law the utilization of deadly force by the cops was legally justified. 

The law states officers may use deadly force if ‘the suspect has committed a felony offense involving the infliction or threatened infliction of death or serious bodily injury,’ to ‘prevent the escape’ of a suspect or if ‘the suspect poses a risk of death or serious bodily injury to the officer or even to others,’ he said.    

‘In this case, it is justified under the statute,’ Gill said.  

The Salt Lake Tribune reports protest organizer Sofia Alcalá vowed some sort of civil disobedience after the DA’s decision was revealed.

‘They will feel the wrath of the f****** community today,’ she warned.  

A video shared by Attorney T. Greg Docette did actually show Salt Lake City police officers charging at a group of peaceful protesters and beating them with batons.

‘Another view of [744] in Salt Lake City UT, as police charge and beat unarmed protesters for the heinous crime of saying the term “s***” loudly,’ wrote Doucette on Twitter. 

‘The cops are still rioting…’

Footage shows several demonstrators chanting ‘Don’t start no s***, Won’t be no s***’ across from the human wall of police officers donning riot gear and shields. 

After DA Sim Gill made the announcement, protest organizer Sofia Alcalá reportedly promised some sort of civil disobedience, warning 'They will feel the wrath of the f****** community today'

After DA Sim Gill made the announcement, protest organizer Sofia Alcalá reportedly promised some sort of civil disobedience, warning ‘They will feel the wrath of the f****** community today’

Authorities said that one protests on Thursday had to be carried away with an injury, while some officers were reportedly hit with pepper spray and one was taken to the hospital for an unspecified injury

Authorities said that certain protests on Thursday needed to be carried away having an injury, though some officers were reportedly hit with pepper spray and something was taken fully to the hospital for an unspecified injury 

Salt Lake City police officers said they encountered Palacios-Carbaja (pictured) after they received reports about a man in possession of a weapon threatening residents

Salt Lake City police officers said they encountered Palacios-Carbaja (pictured) after they received reports about a man in possession of a weapon threatening residents 

Protesters on Thursday reportedly used metal rods to shatter glass windows at the District Attorney's office, but it's unclear if any of those involved were arrested

Protesters on Thursday reportedly used metal rods to shatter glass windows at the District Attorney’s office, but it’s unclear if some of those involved were arrested 

Pictured: DA Sim Gill (pictured) walks outside the District Attorney's office on Friday as some of the paint smeared across the entrance sign is cleaned off

Pictured: DA Sim Gill (pictured) walks outside the District Attorney’s office on Friday as a few of the paint smeared across the entrance sign is cleaned off 

Suddenly, the type of officers rush at the protesters and start roughly shoving people with their shields and batons. 

Demonstrators are heard screaming in fear as admonish officers for using such brute force on peaceful protesters.

 ‘What is wrong with you? These are peaceful protesters!’ one man shouts. A lady standing facing him is immediately hit with a baton. 

The band of demonstrators then link arms to form a human barricade in defiance of the officers. They chant: ‘Unified power’ and ‘Justice for Bernardo.’

The footage ends with officers yet again charging the crowd while protesters scream out. Some protesters used a bicycle to try reduce the chances of officers, in accordance with KSL.com

Before that moment, scores of protesters waited away from DA’s office on Thursday in hopes of murder charges, but were let down by the announcement – expanding on the growing divide between police force and civilians since George Floyd’s death in May. 

Crowds of protesters have gathered outside DA Sim Gill's office for weeks demanding that a full investigative report of Palacios-Carbajal's death be released after he was shot dead in May

Crowds of protesters have gathered outside DA Sim Gill’s office for weeks demanding that the full investigative report of Palacios-Carbajal’s death be released after he was shot dead in May

Messages scrawled in paint read near the District Attorney's office read 'too much blood,' 'Sim Gill you killed,' 'Abolish all cops' and 'Respect Existence or Expect Resistance'

Messages scrawled in paint read nearby the District Attorney’s office read ‘too much blood,’ ‘Sim Gill you killed,’ ‘Abolish all cops’ and ‘Respect Existence or Expect Resistance’

Pictured: 'Justice for Bernardo' and 'Sim Gill...Their Blood is on Your Hands' signs are hung outside the District Attorney's office by protesters on Thursday

Pictured: ‘Justice for Bernardo’ and ‘Sim Gill…Their Blood is on Your Hands’ signs are hung outside the District Attorney’s office by protesters on Thursday 

A police officer ushers a person a protester off a street outside the district attorney's office as police tried to clear the street Thursday in Salt Lake City, Utah

A police officer ushers a person a protester off a street outside the district attorney’s office as police tried to clear the road Thursday in Salt Lake City, Utah

Some officers were injured during the clash with protesters, reportedly prompting police to respond by shoving some to the ground and striking them with clubs

Some officers were injured during the clash with protesters, reportedly prompting police to respond by shoving some to the bottom and striking them with clubs

As an effect, protesters stuck true with their promise of ‘No Justice, No Peace’ and held demonstrations so fraught with ‘civil unrest’ that the Utah’s governor issued an urgent situation order. 

Around 150 residents descended upon the DA’s office after 6pm hoisting signs demanding justice, as well as chanting ‘How many shots? 34!’ 

The streets of Salt Lake City turned red as protesters spilled paint as you’re watching DA’s office to smear it throughout the entrance steps, sidewalks and doorways.

The red paint, in accordance with protesters, was symbolic of the blood on DA Sim Gill’s hands after he didn’t file charges against the officers.  

Red hand prints were seen on the building’s entrance sign alongside photo of Palacios-Carbajal. 

Messages scrawled in paint read ‘too much blood,’ ‘Sim Gill you killed,’ ‘Abolish all cops’ and ‘Respect Existence or Expect Resistance.’

The glass doors of the DA’s office were covered in protest signs declaring Black Lives Matter and Defund the Police.

Salt Lake City police officers charged at peaceful protesters at least twice on Thursday, according to footage taken at the scene, as they attempted to clear them away from the District Attorney's office

Salt Lake City police officers charged at peaceful protesters at least twice on Thursday, according to footage taken at the scene, as they attemptedto clear them away from the District Attorney’s office

The Salt Lake City Police Department said they urged demonstrators to leave, but were forced to engage after the refused and tensions skyrocketed

The Salt Lake City Police Department said they urged demonstrators to leave, but were forced to engage after the refused and tensions skyrocketed 

Organizers had given speeches to the growing crowd – now around 300 – proclaiming  Palacios-Carbajal should not be dead and police could have relied on non-lethal force, like using a stun gun or tackling him.

They wondered where Palacios-Carbajal would be now if officers Iversen and Fortuna had used a Taze gun instead. 

Then, protesters shatter three glass windows of the DA’s office just like vans packed with officers reached the scene. 

Police Chief Mike Brown said this is what caused city officials to declared the event an ‘unlawful assembly’ and make an effort to shut it down.

Calls for justice in Palacios-Carbajal's case come after the death of George Floyd, which sparked nationwide protests against police brutality

Calls for justice in Palacios-Carbajal’s case come after the death of George Floyd, which sparked nationwide protests against police brutality 

‘It was my sincere hope that the protest tonight would remain peaceful since it has night after night, Brown wrote on Twitter.

‘Sadly, as they begun to break windows at [Salt Lake County District Attorney] office, we declared it an unlawful assembly.’

The two groups meeting only resulted in clashes as police helicopters whirled overhead and protesters shouted ‘We ain’t scared!’ 

Protesters reportedly threw bottles, pieces of wood and other debris at officers and refused to leave the area.

‘Objects are increasingly being used against us, force will be used against you,’ one officer reportedly said. 

Some officers were injured, reportedly prompting police to respond by shoving some to the bottom and striking them with clubs. 

A police car intentionally rammed in to a protester’s vehicle that was used as a barricade.

The Salt Lake City Police Department said an unspecified quantity of officers were hit with pepper spray. 

One injured protester had to be overly enthusiastic, while one police officer went to a healthcare facility for treatment.

Two residents were arrested throughout the commotion, but their identities and exactly why were not disclosed. 

A video shared to Facebook appeared to show Sofia Alcalá handcuffed by officers who said she had been taken in for ‘destruction of property.’

Salt Lake City police chief Mike Brown said the demonstration was labeled an 'unlawful assembly' after protests shattered windows of the DA's office with metal rods

Salt Lake City police chief Mike Brown said the demonstration was labeled an ‘unlawful assembly’ after protests shattered windows of the DA’s office with metal rods

Earlier, protesters shared a permanent marker to write down telephone numbers on their arms in case they certainly were taken in to police custody. 

Activists on Twitter shared tips about how to hide their identities and stopped media crews from filming certain aspects of the protest. 

One group surrounded a number of broadcast reporter with umbrellas to block their cameras after Salt Lake City police used footage from previous protests to build cases in recent arrests. 

Authorities, sensing a volatile confrontation, had told local media in regards to the riot gear. 

City managers told staffers in a email they would work from your home on Thursday and Friday to stay far from skirmishes. 

The mounting tension between civilians and law enforcement proved to much for Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, who declared a State of Emergency Thursday night.

The order closed off Utah State Capitol ground and allowed the Utah Department of Public Safety to mobilize. 

The order stated ‘recent protests are becoming violent and the civil unrest has resulted in bodily injury and destruction of private and public property, including extensive defacement of a Utah State Capitol building.’

The executive order will continue to be in effect until July 13 at 11:59pm. 

Bodycam footage released by police in June showed the two cops arriving on the scene outside the Utah Village Motel and spotting a man – Palacios-Carbajal – straight away run from their website across the parking lot.  

The cops went in search of him by walking with their guns drawn, as you officer says over police radio he is armed.   

‘He’s got a gun in his pocket. He’s reaching in his right…’ the cop is heard saying. 

The chase continues in to an alley and the cops are heard shouting ‘stop,’ ‘show me your hands’ or ‘drop it’ a total of 17 times. 

When they reach the parking lot of Granary Storage Palacios-Carbajal stumbles and falls before that he gets up and falls again.  

Palacios-Carbajal stumbles and falls before he gets up and falls again. One officer shouts to taser him but moments later a hail of gunfire rings out

Palacios-Carbajal stumbles and falls before he gets up and falls again. One officer shouts to taser him but moments later a hail of gunfire rings out

The cops went in pursuit of him on foot with their guns drawn, as one officer says over police radio that the suspect is armed

The cops went in search of him by walking with their guns drawn, as you officer says over police radio that the suspect is armed 

Lucy Carbajal (left), the victim's mother) :t’s not really a correct decision that [Gill] made, and we'll continue fighting...And despite the fact that my son isn’t here, he gives us the proper to continue fighting so mothers like me do not lose their sons, like they killed my son. That was cowardice'

Lucy Carbajal (left), the victim’s mother) :t’s not a correct decision that [Gill] made, and we will continue fighting…And even though my son isn’t here, he gives us the right to continue fighting so mothers like me do not lose their sons, like they killed my son. That was cowardice’

Pictured: People gather at a memorial for Bernardo Palacio-Carbajal during a march in Salt Lake City. District Attorney Sim Gill says Utah police officers were legally justified in firing more than 20 times and killing an armed man as he ran away

Pictured: People gather at a memorial for Bernardo Palacio-Carbajal throughout a march in Salt Lake City. District Attorney Sim Gill says Utah police officers were legally justified in firing more than 20 times and killing an armed man as that he ran away

One officer shouts to taser him but moments later a hail of gunfire rings out.  

Palacios-Carbajal’s family needed the officers to be charged over his killing, pointing out that he was running away when they shot him and that bodycam footage doesn’t show him pointing a weapon throughout the chase.  

The family said they plan to sue the police department and vowed to work well with protesters to reform authorities policies.

‘It’s not really a correct decision that [Gill] made, and we’ll continue fighting,’ Lucy Carbajal, his mother, said in Spanish to the Salt Lake Tribune.

‘And despite the fact that my son isn’t here, he gives us the proper to continue fighting so mothers like me do not lose their sons, like they killed my son. That was cowardice.’



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