Cutt, Kendell & Olson has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Salt Lake City Police Department on behalf of the family of Bernardo Palacios-Carbajal, who was shot and killed by police officers on May 23 during an attempted arrest. The police officers fired 34 shots at Palacios-Carbajal in the back, with post-mortem reports showing he was inflicted with a total of 25 gunshot wounds.
Salt Lake City Police Department officers encountered Palacios-Carbajal in a parking lot and believed he “matched the description” of a reported suspect in the area. The officers, using a flashlight, yelled at Palacios-Carbajal to show his hands, but they never identified themselves as law enforcement officers. A chase ensued. The lawsuit alleges that the police used excessive force when they initially opened fire as Palacios-Carbajal was fleeing. Specifically, the officers began firing despite orders from the sergeant to “taze him.” The Complaint further alleges that the officers used excessive force in continuing to shoot after Palacios-Carbajal had fallen and no longer presented a threat of harm or escape. Initial reports showed that over 20 bullets were fired after Palacios-Carbajal had fallen.
The family of the 22-year-old has attempted to negotiate with the police department to reform the lack of consistent training and regulations that led to Palacios-Carbajal being killed during an attempted arrest for crimes he only matched a broad description for. Protests around Salt Lake City have been held to criticize Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill July 9 ruling that the shooting was justified and reasonable. With the assistance of attorney Nathan Morris of Cutt, Kendell & Olson, the family released a statement at the time they filed the Complaint, which includes the following reasons for the lawsuit: “We are concerned that the district attorney’s decision to not prosecute the officers and SLCPD’s failure to discipline these officers have merely galvanized an already ingrained belief that certain citizens are not deserving of due process, fairness and common decency. We join with those countless other citizens and organizations in this state and nationwide who plead for a system that recognizes and respects these rights.
Cutt, Kendell & Olson, is honored to represent the Palacios-Carbajal family in this important case. Our attorneys work tirelessly to represent their clients on a variety of issues, from catastrophic injury cases and police excessive force cases to defective product cases. Members of our legal team have been recognized by Super Lawyers® and Best Lawyers®, among others, for our fearless advocacy for our clients.
Contact Cutt, Kendell & Olson online or call us at (801) 901-3470 today to schedule a free case evaluation.