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Salt Lake City officials meet with residents to discuss police use of force

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Posted at 9:37 PM, Feb 25, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-26 09:44:55-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- There have been four deadly police officer involved shootings in Utah just this year. With community questions rising, Salt Lake City held a community meeting Wednesday night to address residents' concerns.

On the panel of the meeting was Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank, Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill, and the head of the Salt Lake civilian review board.

The deadly shooting of Geist the dog last June put police shootings and use of deadly force by the Salt Lake City Police Department in the forefront of people's minds. Since then, Salt Lake officers have shot and killed Dillon Taylor outside a South Salt Lake 7-Eleven, and James Barker--who allegedly attacked an officer with a snow shovel in the Avenues.

To address community concerns, residents were invited to a town hall meeting to discuss, specifically, police use of lethal force. Nearly 100 people attended the meeting.

Gary Wanlass attended the meeting and said, "The problem is, I think, lies somewhat in my frustration is that the lack of prosecution against these police."

Maura Carabello said, "I was glad to see that community members seemed to be voicing some of their emotions and opinions."

Topics in the meeting varied, but touched on police procedures before and after a shooting happens, officer training, and racial profiling. Chief Burbank acknowledged that there does need to be changes. He stated that he's part of a national discussion about how police departments can do business better.

The next community meeting will be March 4 at Lincoln Elementary School. The focus there will be on police training.