Utah Police Kill More People Than Gangs, Drug Dealers, Child Abusers
The Salt Lake Tribune reviewed 300 violent deaths in Utah over the last five years and found that killings by police are the second most common type of violent death in the state.
The Tribune reports that police are responsible for 15 percent of all violent deaths in the state, killing 45 people since 2010.
“The numbers reflect that there could be an issue, and it’s going to take a deeper understand of these shootings,” former Utah police Sergeant Chris Gebhardt told the paper. “It definitely can’t be written off as citizen groups being upset with law enforcement.”
So far this year, police have killed 13 people in Utah, more than domestic violence which has been the number one cause of violent deaths over the five-year period that was reviewed.
Ian Adams, the spokesperson for the Utah Fraternal Order of Police, says, “Police are trained and expected to react to deadly threats. As many deadly threats emerge is the exact amount of times police will respond. The onus is on the person being arrested to stop trying to assault and kill police officers and the innocent public. Why do some in society continue to insist the problem lies with police officers?”
To that point, Robert Wadman, the former chief of the Omaha police department and current criminal justice professor at Weber State, says, “Sometimes the line between is it legal and is it necessary becomes difficult to distinguish. In the judgment of the officer, ‘Is my life in jeopardy? Yes.’ At that point in time, they’re legally grounded in using deadly force. But the question is, is it necessary? That’s something that needs to be firmly addressed, for example, in training.”