Violent killings by Utah police outpace deaths by gangs, drug dealers and child abusers
If you live in Utah, you are more likely to be killed by police than gangs, drug dealers or child abusers.
The Salt Lake Tribune recently reviewed records for 300 violent deaths over a five year period, and found that deaths from police violence were the second most common type of killing after intimate partner violence in Utah.
Records showed that law enforcement officers were responsible for 15 percent of the violent deaths by killing 45 people since 2010.
Officials have found all of the killings to be justified, except the 2012 shooting of 21-year-old Danielle Willard. On Saturday, police responding to a trespassing report in South Jordan shot and killed a man. That incident was still under investigation.
But law enforcement watchdogs warned that the rising numbers of deaths at the hands of police could point to a potential problem with the abuse of lethal force.
“The numbers reflect that there could be an issue, and it’s going to take a deeper understanding of these shootings,” former Utah police Sergeant Chris Gebhardt told the Tribune. “It definitely can’t be written off as citizen groups being upset with law enforcement.”
At a four-month academy required for all police cadets, the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) division of the Utah Department of Safety teaches that officers “may use any force available provided they can justify the reasonableness of force used.”
Watch the video below from KSTU.