Group protests against Salt Lake County district attorney

Posted at 9:31 PM, Jun 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-20 23:31:42-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- A group of protesters were calling for Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill to step down or be fired, Monday.

A dozen people stood outside his downtown offices, on East Broadway, demanding accountability when it comes to police-involved shootings.

"What do we want? Justice. When do we want it? Now!" shouted the protesters.

The group, Utah Against Police Brutality, led the rally.

"Sim Gill must go, Gill must go," said Jacob Jensen, of Utah Against Police Brutality.

"There needs to be change, it's corrupt," said protester Summer Smith.

"This is in one sense a very thankless job because whatever decision I make somebody will be unhappy," Gill said.

These protesters are unhappy about two specific issues. First, Gill has yet to release body camera video from the shooting of 17-year-old Abdi Muhamad, by Salt Lake City Police outside the Rio Grande homeless shelter in February.

"I think they are concealing something and they are trying to make us forget about it and I think it's important to keep pressure on Sim Gill," said Theresa Nielson.

Gill said the body cam video will be released as soon as the investigation is complete.

"We don't release evidence during an investigation, we don't release evidence that would undermine the due process rights, whether it's officers, whether it's civilians, or the integrity of the process," Gill said.

The second major issue was why a Unified Police Officer was not charged with any wrong doing for shooting an innocent man in October who had been mistaken for a suspect.

"Dustin Evans was shot and declared as an unjustified shooting by Sim Gill and he was unwilling to prosecute that," Jensen said.

Gill said just because an officer makes a mistake doesn't mean they did something illegal.

"Any time you have use of force there are going to be times when mistakes are going to be made and sometimes mistakes are made without any criminal intent," Gill said.

These protesters said they aren't quitting until real change is made.

"Even if there's only five people we will still continue to do it and not stop," Nielson said.

Gill said he's listening, and he understands, but he also has a job to do.

"My job is not to please one group or another, my job is to follow the law, to apply the law in a fair way, and to be open and transparent," Gill said.