Protesters took to the streets in Salt Lake City on Monday after a seventeen-year-old Somali refugee was shot and seriously injured by police officers.
Abdi Mohamed was shot twice in the torso while officers intervened when he and another person attacked a victim with metal sticks. According to law enforcement, Mohamed and his friend were told to drop their weapons but ignored the officers proceeding to move toward the victim again. Police shot Mohamed. The victim reportedly never required medical treatment.
Police have refused to give details in the shooting of Mohamed declining also the release of law enforcement body camera footage.
Selam Mohammad, a friend of Mohamed, told reporters that Mohamed was shot when he barely turned toward officers to face them.
A spokesman for the police union representing the officers adamantly said that the officer’s only goal was to protect the beating victim. President Michael Millard of the Salt Lake Police Association said, “This case is not about race; they acted in defense of an innocent party”.
Protesters said that the police “need retraining” and wondered why they did not use a taser against the teenager.