Police Shooting in Utah Triggers Protests


Protesters took to the streets Monday night after police shot and seriously injured a 17-year-old Somali refugee in Salt Lake City, the Associated Press reports


Abdi Mohamed, who immigrated to the U.S. with his family in 2004, was reportedly shot twice in the torso as officers intervened as he and another person allegedly attacked a person with metal sticks, police said.

Officers reportedly told Mohamed and his friend to drop their weapons, but the teen allegedly moved toward the victim again and officers shot him. The beating victim reportedly did not need medical attention after the ordeal. Some members of the community, however, were disappointed in the way officers handled the situation. 

"They need retraining," one protester, Kaylee Peterson, said. "Whatever happened to Tasers? Whatever [happened] to rubber bullets? Whatever happened to shooting shots in the sky as a warning?"

Police are reportedly declining to give any more details about the shooting and have also refused to release body-camera footage, citing the investigation into the shooting and the possibility that the teen could face charges in the fight, AP notes.

A friend of Mohamed's who was there at the time, Selam Mohammad, told news reporters that the teen was shot as he was turning to face officers. 

"He barely even turned around, then boom, boom, boom—and he just dropped," Mohammad, who says he was at the scene, told the Deseret News, according to AP.


Officers said that they could not confirm or deny the account. However, a police union representing the officers made it quite clear that the officers' actions were to protect the beating victim. 

"This case is not about race; they acted in defense of an innocent party," Salt Lake Police Association President Michael Millard in a statement, according to AP.


Read more at the Associated Press.