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ACLU Requests Footage Of Salt Lake City Police Shooting

The Utah chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union says body camera footage of a Salt Lake City Police officer shooting 17-year-old Abdi Mohamed should be made public in accordance with Utah’s public records law.

The ACLU has filed a GRAMA request with both the Salt Lake City Police Department and the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office to obtain the footage. The organization argues,  House Bill 300, a law that past this legislative session clarifies police body camera footage is subject to the same disclosure rules as other public records and it should only be classified as private when it is recorded inside a home or residence and does not involve a critical incident like an officer-involved shooting.

ACLU Attorney Leah Farrell says this incident does not fall into those categories.  

“There’s not a reason why these records should be classified as private or otherwise withheld,” Farrell says. “There is no exception that we can read or we can see that the police would be able to justify holding it. This is not something that was recorded inside a home. It was out in public and it should be released.”

Since the February 27th shooting that occurred near The Road Home Homeless Shelter in downtown Salt Lake City, members of the public have called for release of the footage. Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill told KUER earlier this week the investigation is still active and the footage is being withheld to maintain the integrity of the investigation. 

Police say Abdi Mohamed was attacking a man with a metal stick when officers intervened and shot him after he refused to comply with orders to stand down. 

Whittney Evans grew up southern Ohio and has worked in public radio since 2005. She has a communications degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where she learned the ropes of reporting, producing and hosting. Whittney moved to Utah in 2009 where she became a reporter, producer and morning host at KCPW. Her reporting ranges from the hyper-local issues affecting Salt Lake City residents, to state-wide issues of national interest. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the guitar and getting to know the breathtaking landscape of the Mountain West.
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