Activists need your support against state repression!
On May 23, 2020, Bernardo Palacios-Carbajal, 22, was murdered by 15 shots to the back (1). On July 9, District Attorney, Sim Gill, despite ample evidence, chose not to prosecute his killers (2); thus, maintaining his record of letting murderers hide behind the badge of the Salt Lake City Police Department.
That evening, protesters gathered (3) in front of the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office to demand justice for Bernardo and all other victims of police violence. Some carried portraits of Bernardo while others used red paint to illustrate the blood on Sim Gill’s hands. But before long, at the behest of Sim Gill (4), this peaceful gathering descended into a vicious assault on those exercising their First Amendment rights by the arrival of riot police and the declaration that it was an unlawful gathering. Attendees were battered with shields and batons, one was left with a concussion, broken nose, and gaping thigh wound from being shot at close range with a bean bag round (5)
In a move decried by liberals (6) and conservatives (7), international media (8) and local activists (9) alike, Sim Gill charged six people, Madalena McNeil, Michelle Mower, Sofia Alcala, Madison Alleman, Viviane Turman, and Marvin Oliveros, out of the hundreds in attendance with as high as first degree felonies carrying a life sentence. Since the initial charging, the defendants, ranging in age from 18 to 40, have endured not only their civil liberties being trampled through illegal searches of their homes and police harassment, but the arduous trial process that has been shown to be another case of plea charging (10)
While these defendants no longer face life in prison, they now must contend with restitution of $85,000 for the removal of paint. We are calling upon our community, near and far, to stand in solidarity with those who sought justice for Bernardo and other victims of police brutality by assisting with this undue and unjust financial burden. Any and all funds raised here will be given directly to the court by lawyers representing the aforementioned.
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