SALT LAKE CITY — No charges will be filed against the Salt Lake City police officer caught on video pushing down an elderly man during May protests downtown.
Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill made the announcement Friday, saying the victim himself did not support filing criminal charges against the officer, Val Brown, and instead wished to have the department handle the matter internally.
"This was not an easy decision. Officer Brown’s conduct was unnecessary, inappropriate, and wholly without justification." said Gill. "Any time an officer engages in unreasonable force against a member of our community who is engaged in peaceful protest, the officer’s conduct not only victimizes the individual but it also damages the community’s faith in law enforcement and erodes the trust of other residents that they may safely exercise their First Amendment rights free from interference or retaliation."
Officer Brown was part of a group of law enforcement personnel forcing people out of the area on May 30 near the public library. The protests were being held following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
In the video, Brown can be seen pushing the man, who was using a cane, after shouting at him. The nudge from Brown's shield causes the man to stumble and fall.
Video of the incident went viral and led the department to open its own investigation which found that Brown used unnecessary use of force. Brown underwent coaching and counseling for his actions.