While many Salt Lake City leaders have called for a swift investigation and expressed their concern about police shooting Bernardo Palacios-Carbajal as he ran away, Councilwoman Amy Fowler is the first high-level city official to call the killing unlawful.
Fowler, who serves District 7 in the southeast portion of Salt Lake City, took to Facebook late Saturday evening to make her feelings known.
“I believe Bernardo Palacios-Carbajal was unlawfully killed and I am outraged,” Fowler’s post read. “I will do everything in my power to make sure justice is served. There should be no special treatment for police and they should be held to the same standard as anyone else suspected of a similar act.”
Fowler could not be reached for comment Sunday.
Palacios-Carbajal was killed early May 23 after police responded to a call of a gun threat. Officers chased the 22-year-old for several blocks after he ran from a motel as they approached.
Body camera footage released Friday afternoon shows the officers fired at least 20 shots at Palacios-Carbajal. The two officers who fired their weapons have been put on administrative leave, which is standard after a police shooting.
After the release of the body camera footage, the Salt Lake City Council offered a strong statement, decrying the shooting and vowing change.
“We feel outraged at the death of Bernardo Palacios-Carbajal,” the council said in a news release. “We are angry about having someone shot and killed in our City.”
The council acknowledged that Utahns “are not interested in words,” making it clear that everything about Palacios-Carbajal’s death needs to be examined.
As protests against police brutality continue in Salt Lake City in the wake of George Floyd’s death, attention turned Saturday to Palacios-Carbajal’s killing. About 600 protesters gathered outside of the Utah Capitol in a steady rain, demanding justice for his death. Saturday marked the eighth day of protests in Salt Lake City, which also included gatherings at City Hall and the University of Utah.