Seventeen-year-old Abdi Mohamed was shot by police in Salt Lake City after he reportedly did not drop his “weapon” when police arrived at the scene of an altercation. He now remains in critical condition at a hospital in Salt Lake City.
According to the Salt Lake City police department’s official press release, “Officers witnessed two males with metal objects attacking a male victim. Officers confronted the two suspects and ordered them to drop the weapons. One of the males complied and dropped the weapon, the other continued to advance on the victim and was shot by officers.”
However, KTLA 5 reports that according to Mohamed’s friend, Selam Mohammed—a witness at the scene—“We were trying to break it up before the police even came, but the police ran in on foot and pulled their guns out already…The police said 'drop it' once, then they shot him four times.”
Mohammed adds that Mohamed picked up a “broken broom stick” moments before the police arrived, rather than whatever metal weapon the cops say he was holding.
Both officers are on administrative leave while the Unified Police Department conducts an investigation. While the officers were both wearing body cameras, the police department’s official statement claims that the “release of the body camera recordings could reasonably be expected to interfere with that investigation,” which is ridiculous—the camera footage would only definitively prove the facts of the situation.
It is extremely fortunate that in this instance, the victim of police brutality did not pass away, but the pattern of this behavior in police officers remains disturbing and horrific.
According to FOX 13, protests almost immediately erupted in the area, with protestors hurling “rocks, bottles and other debris” at officers. Over 100 officers were sent to the scene to diffuse the protests.
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