Brian Peña-Valencia

Brian Peña-Valencia

a man from Utah

In March 2020, police officers from Salt Lake City, Utah, shot an unarmed Brian Peña-Valencia about five times after they thought he was going to get something from his belt. They tried to stop Brian’s car, although they had no reason to do so.

On March 21, 2020, the Salt Lake City Police Department received a call about a shooting. According to the police, as soon as officers arrived at the alleged crime scene, they noticed the car of 28-year-old Brian. The police tried to stop the young man, although they had no reason to do so. Terrified, Brian tried to hide from them, resulting in a chase. A few minutes later, Brian failed to control the car properly and got into an accident. He got out of the car and ran away from the police. Officers caught up with the man and tased him twice, knocking him to the ground. The police thought that Brian was reaching for something in his belt, and they shot him about five times. The man died on the spot. There is no footage from the officer’s body camera, as he claims to have lost the camera while chasing Brian.

Brian’s death outraged the public. Hundreds of people took part in protests and demonstrations against police brutality. In May 2021, the victim’s family filed a federal lawsuit against the Salt Lake City Police Department, accusing them of violating civil rights and using excessive force.