On July 9, riot police shot, beat, harassed, arrested, and brutalized protesters in Salt Lake who were peacefully demanding justice for Bernardo Palacios-Carbajal, as well as an end to police brutality. We need your help to support these protesters!
My name is Jeanette Padilla and I have been a consultant with the Justice for Bernardo group and in direct communication with Bernardo’s family as well as protestors who have been injured, arrested, and mistreated by police at recent protests. I am coordinating efforts to get support to injured protestors as needed.
On the morning of July 9, Utah District Attorney Sim Gill released his report justifying the shooting of 22-year-old Bernardo Palacios-Carbajal, who was executed at the hands of police in the early morning hours of May 23. Police used excessive lethal force on Bernardo firing 34 shots at his back, torso, and arms. Since Bernardo’s murder, community members have rallied together to protest nearly every single night for over a month to demand justice for Bernardo and other victims of police brutality. That night, after the release of the 34-page -- the same number of times Bernardo was shot in the back -- report from the DA’s office, protesters peacefully exercised their right to protest and freedom of speech and were met with overwhelming police violence.
Police misused so-called “less-than-lethal” weapons by firing them at dangerously close ranges, which resulted in severe injuries -- that could have even been deadly-- for several protesters. This included pepper bullets, foam-tip bullets, and beanbag rounds. ACLU observers witnessed cops charging in formation at protestors and then smashing victims with shields and batons. [see the full ACLU of Utah Statement on Recent Police Crackdowns on the Right to protest here ]. After the police violence, observers saw people left with gaping wounds, swollen limbs, and possible broken bones. Many were taken to the hospital. There are many who now face severe health complications due to police brutality, including hospital bills related to such issues such as a dislocated knee, stitches caused by batons, a broken nose, a 3-inch open wound, and possible permanent impairment to cognitive function due to blunt force trauma to the head.
Police utilized kettling to prevent protesters from leaving the area, making it near impossible for protestors to get safely home. A police vehicle even purposefully smashed into a parked car in a dangerous maneuver. Police later stalked protesters and targeted them for tickets and arrests. This targeting of organizers and protestors is ongoing and continues today. On top of the harassment, use of militarized violence, and gross injustices perpetrated by the police, none of the officers had any identifying information on them, such as name tags or badge numbers. See the ACLU's statment on police's unnecessary use of force against protestors.
Funds raised will be used to help pay for medical costs, legal costs, and jail costs for people subjected to this reprehensible brutality. Our funding will help not only those brutalized on July 9th, but also those who faced violence and suppression at events seeking justice for Bernardo, George Floyd, and other ever-growing numbers of victims of police oppression.
Any remaining funds will be used to pay for any continuing support of those arrested based on the needs of particular individuals, as well as the continued support of efforts to fight police brutality in Salt Lake and Utah.
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