POLICE

Salt Lake officer-involved shooting deemed as justified

May 24, 2019, 6:04 PM | Updated: May 26, 2019, 11:01 pm
justified shooting...
Sim Gill presenting body cam footage of the November shooting. Photo: Paul Nelson

SALT LAKE CITY — No charges are going to be filed against the handful of Salt Lake City Police officers who fired on a man in November, killing him.  District Attorney Sim Gill determined that the shooting was justified, a finding that is raising the ire of people who knew the man whom police shot.

The shooting happened on Sir Philip Drive.  Police say Cody Paris Belgard had fled a previous crime scene and hit an officer while driving away.  After he reportedly ditched the car, Belgard went into someone’s back yard.  Police arrived and surrounded him and District Attorney Sim Gill says Belgard was given many orders to show his hands and get on the ground.  However, Belgard didn’t do that.

“He was reaching into his waistband and began moving his hands back and forth in his jacket,” Gill says.

Belgard then reportedly stretched out his arm toward some of the officers, holding an object in his hand.

Gill says, “The man had a black object in his hand which he pointed in the direction at some of the officers.  Officer Silva yelled, ‘Gun!’”

It turns out that Belgard was holding a cell phone.  However, Gill says there were witnesses who saw the exchange, and they also believed Belgard was holding a gun.

“They were from the same direction and vantage from [officers] Silva, Chow and Sanders and whose statement is that the man turned around and pointed a gun at the officers and the officers shot him,” Gill adds.

Given all the evidence on hand, Gill says officers had reason to believe the officers had a reasonable fear for their safety.  However, Belgard’s brother, Marvin Oliveros doesn’t accept Gill’s findings.  He says the shooting happened because one officer wrongly believed Belgard had a gun.

“That was all it took to justify this, not the fact that he didn’t have a gun and not the fact that his back was turned,” Oliveros says.

Plus, he believes the bullet’s trajectory proves his brother was beginning to bend down, as he was instructed.  He claims one bullet entered his brother’s lower back and was going upward.

“They told him to get on the ground.  That autopsy report shows he was complying,” he says.

(Photo Credit: Paul Nelson)

Oliveros and other supporters held a protest outside Gill’s office, wrapping themselves in tarps to represent body bags.

Today’s Top Stories

Police

Salt Lake City Police took a 44-year-old man into custody on Wednesday in connection to the burglar...
Mark Jones

SLC Police arrest man for burglarizing two law offices

Salt Lake City Police say a 44-year-old man was arrested Wednesday in connection to burglarizing two downtown law offices last week.
2 days ago
Orem auto-pedestrian collision...
Mark Jones

Two people hurt in auto-pedestrian collision in Orem

Orem police are investigating an auto-pedestrian collision that sent two people to the hospital Wednesday afternoon.
2 days ago
Fatal car crash...
Waverly Golden

Victim in fatal auto pedestrian crash was 11 years old, investigation continues

SLC 9-1-1 received information about a deadly auto-pedestrian collision involving a Nissan pick-up Wednesday afternoon, according to Salt Lake City Police Department.
2 days ago
police respond after i-15 was closed due to a car chase...
Samantha Herrera

Officer-involved shooting causes delays on I-15 in Davis County

An officer-involved shooting closed southbound I-15 in Davis County on Wednesday morning. A suspect is in custody.
2 days ago
Eli Mitchell, victim of fatal hit and run...
Mark Jones

Utah County man pleads guilty to death of West Jordan teenager

A Saratoga Springs man pleaded guilty Tuesday in Third District Court of automobile homicide in connection to the death of a 13-year-old West Jordan teenager last April.
3 days ago
House fire in Tooele leaves one dead....
Waverly Golden

One dead after house fire in Tooele

A woman is dead after a house fire in Tooele, Utah, around 10:45 a.m. on Nov. 29. Police and firefighters responded.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Salt Lake officer-involved shooting deemed as justified