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Portraits In Salt Lake City Memorialize George Floyd, Utahns Killed By Police

Photo of mural.
Chelsea Naughton
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KUER
After protests in Salt Lake City and across the county, a mural of George Floyd's face was painted in early June on a building in Salt Lake's Granary District.

Updated 1:42 p.m. MDT 7/22/2020

A dozen portraits of people who were killed by police have been painted on a building in Salt Lake City following the deaths of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Bernardo Palacios-Carbajal in Salt Lake City.

The art, installed by a group of about 20 unnamed artists, is part of a larger, ongoing movement in which thousands of people have marched in the streets across Utah to protest police brutality and racial injustice.

Photo of Allen Nelson portrait.
Credit Chelsea Naughton / KUER
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KUER
Allen Nelson

Allen Nelson

Date of incident

June 9, 2012 

What happened? 

Allen Nelson, 43, died in the process of arrest. His family alleges a taser was used on his chest and sent him into cardiac arrest but police denied this happened. The family sued Salt Lake City Police for wrongful death.

Officers involved

Unnamed

Final decision

Unknown. A representative from Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill’s office said the incident occurred before state laws required officer-involved critical incidents to be independently reviewed. A spokesman for the Salt Lake City Police Department said their records show that Nelson was experiencing “excited delirium” and likely died of related causes.

Photo of Danielle Willard portrait.
Credit Chelsea Naughton / KUER
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KUER
Danielle Willard

Danielle Willard

Date of incident

Nov. 2, 2012

What happened?

Danielle Willard, 21, was in her car in an apartment parking lot where West Valley City Police Detectives Shaun Cowley and Kevin Salmon were conducting an undercover drug investigation. Cowley and Salmon said it appeared Willard and a man from the apartment were involved in a drug deal in Willard’s car. 

When the man left, Cowley and Salmon said they saw Willard put something in her mouth. They approached her car and told her to open the door and spit out the substance. She didn’t, and they pointed their guns at her. Willard reversed her car, and the detectives said they thought she was trying to run them over. Cowley shot at Willard twice, with one of the bullets hitting her in the head and killing her. Salmon fired four times, with one bullet grazing her chin.

Officers involved

Detective Shaun Cowley, Detective Kevin Salmon

Final decision

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill ruled neither Cowley nor Salmon were justified in their actions. Gill then filed a manslaughter charge against Cowley, but a judge dismissed it for lack of evidence. Willard’s family sued West Valley and settled the case for $1.425 million.

Photo of Dillon Taylor portrait.
Credit Chelsea Naughton / KUER
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KUER
Dillon Taylor

Dillon Taylor

Date of incident

August 11, 2014

What happened?

Dillon Taylor, 20, was shot by police outside of a 7-Eleven in downtown Salt Lake City. Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill’s report said Salt Lake City Police Officer Bron Cruz responded to a call about a gun threat. 

Body cam footage shows Taylor walking away, with headphones in, before turning to face officers. That’s when Cruz shot him twice in the chest. Officers handcuffed him while he was on the ground and did not perform CPR. They can be heard on video saying he’s unconscious and not breathing.

Officers Involved:

Officer Bron Cruz, Officer Uppsen Downs, Officer Andrew Sylleloglu

Final decision:

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill ruled Cruz’s actions justified.

Photo of Darrien Hunt portrait.
Credit Chelsea Naughton / KUER
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KUER
Darrien Hunt

Darrien Hunt

Date of incident

Sept. 10, 2014

What happened? 

Darrien Hunt was shot and killed in Saratoga Springs. Hunt was walking with a decorative samurai sword as part of his cosplay. Officers were called and they said he lunged at them. Video from nearby businesses shows Hunt running away and officers chasing him. He was shot six times, with all shots entering his body from behind. 

Officers Involved 

Corporal Matthew Schauerhamer, Officer Nicholas Judson

Final decision

Utah County Attorney Jeffrey Buhman ruled the officers’ actions justified. The city settled with Hunt’s family for $900,000.

Photo of James Barker mural.
Credit Chelsea Naughton / KUER
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KUER
James Barker

James Barker  

Date of incident

Jan. 8, 2015

What happened?

James Barker was knocking on doors in Salt Lake City, asking people if they needed their sidewalks shoveled. Salt Lake City Police Officer Matthew Taylor responded to a call about a suspicious person. The caller said Barker matched a description of a person who had been looking in car windows earlier that week.

Body cam footage shows Taylor asking Barker for his name and what he was doing. Barker refused to tell him before yelling at Taylor saying he had a business. Taylor told him to calm down but Barker then swung his shovel at Taylor and the body cam footage cuts off. The district attorney’s report says the shovel knocked the battery out of the camera.

Taylor said Barker continued to attack him, knocking his Taser out of his hand. He said Barker grabbed his gun holster. Taylor pushed Barker off of him before shooting him three times. He handcuffed Barker, and medics declared him dead at the scene.

Officers involved

Officer Matthew Taylor

Final decision

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill ruled Taylor’s actions were justified.

Photo of Patrick Harmon portrait.
Credit Chelsea Naughton / KUER
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Patrick Harmon

Patrick Harmon

Date of incident

Aug. 13, 2017

What happened?

Patrick Harmon, 50, was riding his bike down State Street in Salt Lake City. He crossed six lanes of traffic, and Salt Lake City police officers pulled him over for not having a light on the back of his bike. 

A warrant for Harmon’s arrest came up, and officers tried to arrest him. Harmon was shot as he was running away. Officers said he had turned and threatened them with a knife. Officer Clinton Fox fired at Harmon three times, and in body cam footage he can can be heard saying “I’ll f***** shoot you.”

Police handcuffed Harmon and administered first aid, but he died at the scene.

Officers involved

Officer Clinton Fox, Officer Kris Smith, Officer Scott Robinson

Final decision

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill ruled Fox’s actions were justified. Gill then asked the FBI to review the case.

Photo of Michael Glad mural.
Credit Chelsea Naughton / KUER
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KUER
Michael Glad

Michael Glad

 

Date of incident

May 28, 2018

What happened?

West Jordan Police Officers Steve Hutchings, Josh Whitehead and Tyrell Shepherd responded to a call about an armed robbery at a 7-Eleven. 

That’s where they encountered Michael Glad, 23, and told him to stop walking. Glad pulled out a gun, and Hutchings ordered him to put it down multiple times. Glad then got into Hutchings’ police truck and started driving away.

Officers Whitehead and Shepherd fired their guns at the truck, killing Glad.They later determined Glad’s weapon was a pellet gun.

Officers involved

Officer J. Whitehead, Officer T. Shepherd, Officer Hutchings

Final decision

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill declined to charge Officers Whitehead and Shepherd. Neither officer gave statements to Gill for the investigation.

Photo of Zane James portrait.
Credit Chelsea Naughton / KUER
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KUER
Zane James

Zane James

Date of incident

May 29, 2018

What happened?

Cottonwood Heights Police Officer Casey Davies shot Zane James twice from behind, in the leg and shoulder. James, 19, died from his injuries two days later.

James was suspected of committing two armed robberies that morning. Davies was on his way to work and hadn’t yet picked up his body cam. Davies pursued James, who crashed his motorcycle and ran. After Davies shot James, additional officers wearing body cams showed up. An officer can be heard saying James had been reaching for something before he was shot. Police gave James medical attention before he was taken to a hospital, where he died May 31.

Officers involved

Officer Casey Davies

Final decision

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill ruled Davies’ actions justified. Davies chose not to provide Gill with a statement for the investigation.

Photo of Cody Belgard.
Credit Chelsea Naughton / KUER
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KUER
Cody Belgard

Cody Belgard

Date of incident

Nov. 9, 2018

What happened? 

Cody Belgard, 30, fled from police in a suspicious vehicle in Salt Lake City. When officers caught him later, he was standing in a yard outside a home, and police ordered him to get to the ground. Belgard pulled out an object from his waistband that police thought was a gun. In body cam footage, officers can be heard saying “he’s got a gun” and “he’s pointing.”

Police fired about 10 shots, with two of them striking Belgard. Officers later found out the object was a cell phone. 

Officers involved

Detective William Chow, Officer Stephen Masters, Officer Ryan Sanders, Officer Wilson Silva, Officer Brian Sorenson

Final decision

All five officers were cleared and legally justified in using deadly force.

Photo of Cindreia Europe portrait.
Credit Chelsea Naughton / KUER
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KUER
Cindreia Europe

Cindreia Europe

Date of incident

March 5, 2019

What happened? 

Cindreia Europe, 23, was lying on the ground at night in a parking lot. Somebody called the police, and the dispatcher informed officers that Europe was wearing dark clothes and may be hard to see, so proceed with caution. 

A lawsuit filed said Salt Lake Unified Police Department Officer Megan Franklin disregarded those orders and entered the parking lot at an “unreasonable speed.” Franklin ran over Europe, dragging her about 45 feet, and then ran over her again according to the lawsuit filed by Europe’s family. Franklin also had a history of driving violations. 

Officers involved

Officer Megan Franklin

Final decision 

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill ruled Franklin would not face any criminal charges.

Photo of Chad Breinholt mural.
Credit Chelsea Naughton / KUER
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KUER
Chad Breinholt

Chad Breinholt

Date of incident

Aug. 23, 2019

What happened? 

Chad Breinholt, 31, was in police custody and restrained in a chair after being arrested for a DUI. While in custody, Breinholt removed his shoe and said he had a gun in it. 

Officers pulled him out of the chair and a struggle ensued during which Breinholt grabbed a police weapon. In body cam footage, one officer can be heard saying “you’re about to die, my friend” before Breinholt was shot at close range in the chest, while still handcuffed.

Officers involved 

Unnamed

Final decision 

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill is still investigating the case. 

Photo of Bobby Duckworth portrait.
Credit Chelsea Naughton / KUER
/
KUER
Bobby Duckworth

Bobby Duckworth

Date of incident

Sept. 10, 2019

What happened? 

Bobby Duckworth, 26, was in a field near train tracks in Wellington while talking to Officer Garrett Safely. Safely was responding to a report of a suicidal individual.

Duckworth brandished a knife and began to run toward the officer. Safely pleaded with him to drop the knife and said, “I don’t want to shoot you.” As Duckworth charged, the officer initially retreated before firing six shots.

Officers involved 

Officer Garrett Safely

Final decision 

Carbon County Attorney Jeremiah Humes ruled Safely’s use of deadly force justified.

Photo of Bryan Pena Valencia portrait.
Credit Chelsea Naughton / KUER
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KUER
Bryan Pena Valencia

Bryan Pena Valencia

Date of incident

March 21, 2020

What happened? 

Unified police were responding to a call of “shots fired” in Taylorsville. Officers attempted to make a traffic stop after they said Bryan Pena Valencia’s car seemed suspicious. Valencia, 28, fled first in his vehicle and then on foot. Officers chased him and during a struggle he was shot and killed.

About 1,200 people have signed a petition asking for the body cam footage to be released.

Officers involved 

Unnamed

Final decision 

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill is still investigating the case.

Photo of George Floyd portrait.
Credit Chelsea Naughton / KUER
/
KUER
George Floyd

George Floyd

Date of incident

May 25, 2020

What happened? 

Police in Minneapolis were responding to an alleged fraud attempt at a convenience store. That’s where they encountered George Floyd and placed him in handcuffs. Officers said Floyd resisted arrest. 

A viral video of the incident shows Officer Derek Chauvin with his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, as he pleads “I can’t breathe.” Other officers who were on the scene stood by and did nothing. 

Officers Involved

Officer Derek Chauvin, Officer Tou Thao, Officer J. Alexander Kueng, Officer Thomas Lane

Final decision 

Chauvin is awaiting trial for second and third degree murder and manslaughter. The other officers have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder, while committing a felony and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter with culpable negligence.

Photo of Bernardo Palacios Carabajal portrait.
Credit Chelsea Naughton / KUER
/
KUER
Bernardo Palacios Carabajal

Bernardo Palacios Carabajal

Date of incident

May 23, 2020

What happened? 

Bernardo Palacios-Carbajal, 22, was killed in Salt Lake City after police responded to a call about an “armed man.” When officers arrived on scene, Palacios-Carbajal fled on foot. Officers chased him to a nearby parking lot ordering him to get on the ground and show his hands. 

Carbajal was shot in the back after police fired 34 shots. 

Officers Involved

Officer Neil Iversen, Officer Kevin Fortuna

Final decision 

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill ruled July 9 the officers' use of deadly force was justified.

 

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