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SLC police cleared in use of deadly force in November 2018 death of Cody Belgard

Posted at 11:30 AM, May 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-24 13:31:06-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Four officers and a detective with the Salt Lake City Police Department will not face criminal charges for their use of deadly force in the November 2018 death of Cody Belgard.

"In short, paying 'careful attention to the facts and circumstances' of this case, and considering the totality of the evidence and reasonable inferences to be withdrawn therefrom, we conclude that Detective Chow, and Officer Masters, Sorenson, Sanders and Silva's use of deadly force likely falls within the definition of 'justification' set forth in Utah law," a report from Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill's office said.

The shooting unfolded the night of November 9, as police were looking for a suspect vehicle that had fled from them a few days prior.

Officers found that car and cornered the suspect and a woman in the parking lot of a Sugar House strip mall.

The female passenger complied with the officers, but Belgard did not.

Belgard rammed one police cruiser and nearly hit an officer before fleeing the scene, then raced south toward the Murray area before returning to his neighborhood in Rose Park.

When Belgard returned to Rose Park, multiple officers surrounded him and gave him multiple orders to show his hands and comply.

According to police, Belgard remained non-compliant, and one of the officers believed he spotted a gun.

After more orders to comply, five of the officers opened fire. Belgard was hit at least twice and died a short time later from his injuries.

“My brother was shot in the back as he was surrendering,” said Marvin Oliveros, Belgard’s brother.

Oliveros said Belgard was the rock of their family.

Joining a few others, Oliveros stood in front of the District Attorney’s Office while the report was given, protesting the way his brother died.

Gill said he met with the family before the press conference and listened to their concerns.

Oliveros said Gill agreed to send the case to the FBI for further investigation.