Salt Lake City police officers fired at least 20 shots at a man as he ran away, body camera footage released Friday shows.
Bernardo Palacios-Carbajal, 22, was shot and killed May 23 after police who were responding to a call of a gun threat chased him when he ran from a motel. Officers said a weapon was found near him after he was shot.
The two officers who fired their weapons have been put on administrative leave, which is standard practice for a police shooting. The case is still under investigation.
The Salt Lake City Police Department released three videos from body cameras worn by officers who were on scene.
The video showed Palacios-Carbajal running away from the officers at the Utah Village Motel just after 2 a.m. Capt. Richard Lewis said the officers chased him and yelled at him 17 times to either “stop,” “show me your hands,” or “drop it,” referring to a gun, the Deseret News reported.
The footage shows Palacios-Carbajal trip and fall several times before getting up and continuing to run. He then picks up something from the ground and continues running before two officers begin shooting.
After Palacios-Carbajal is shot in the back and falls to the ground, officers continue shouting at him to show his hands, footage shows.
Based on the body camera footage, it does not appear that Palacios-Carbajal pointed a gun at the officers involved.
Mayor Erin Mendenhall called the video “disturbing and upsetting” and said she expects the investigation to be handled quickly and with transparency.
“Right now, given all that our country is going through, in particular the rawness and fear that so many people of color are feeling, outrage is understandable,” Mendenhall said Friday as protests continue around the country over the killing in Minneapolis of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white officer pressed his knee into his neck. “I know that I haven’t walked in your shoes, but I will walk with you. I hear you, and I accept the work that’s being asked of us.”
Police Chief Mike Brown said he trusts in the department’s investigative process for officer-involved incidents.
“I love the women and men of the Salt Lake City police department, and I stand behind them,” Brown said.
Palacios-Carbajal’s family is calling for the officers involved to be criminally charged. They privately met with police Friday to see the video before it was publicly released.
“They didn’t have to kill him,” his sister, Elsa Karina Palacios, told The Salt Lake Tribune. “They didn’t have to shoot him so many times. He was running. He was scared. He would still be here.”