Protesters seek reforms after fatal police shootings

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Family and friends of individuals who were shot and killed by police were at the Utah State Capitol on Monday to ask that the policies regarding police using deadly force against unarmed citizens be reformed.

The protest was attended by families, friends and supporters of three people who were shot and killed by police in Utah in the last several months.

Corey Kanosh was killed last October in Millard County, and in December investigators said the shooting was justified. Danielle Willard was killed in November in the parking lot of an apartment complex in West Valley City. Kelly Simons was killed by police in Salt Lake City in January of this year.

All three were inside cars when they were shot, and they were all believed to be unarmed.

Melissa Kennedy, Willard’s mother, spoke about the purpose of their protest.

“I’m here to help join forces with all of the other people that have had injustice done to their loved ones and their families, and I still want answers for Danielle,” she said.

Kennedy said even four months after her daughter’s death there is very little information about what happened.

“We know nothing more now than we did back then,” she said. “We still don’t know who shot Danielle. We don’t know why they felt threatened. We don’t know what gun they used, what bullets they used, why they were there, why Danielle was there—we know nothing.”

Willard said she hoped the joint efforts of those who came to the protest and those who support her daughter and the other victims will lead to positive reforms.

“I truly believe that in numbers we can get some policies changed… it needs to be changed,” she said. “It cannot stay this way. There’s too many of our loved ones that are out there that are no longer here.”