Family of Utahns shot, killed by cops among those at rally against police violence

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SALT LAKE CITY -- A group calling itself "Families Speak Out on Police Violence" held a rally Saturday afternoon on the steps of the Matheson Courthouse in Salt Lake City.

A couple hundred people participated. Some drew chalk outlines of human bodies, with names written inside the outlines of people who have died as the result of police shootings.

"The red shirts, to us, is the bloodshed from our children that the cops have killed," said Melissa Kennedy.

Her daughter, Danielle Willard, was shot and killed by a West Valley City officer in 2012. Salt Lake County Attorney Sim Gill later ruled the shooting unjustified.

Other speakers included family members of those who've died in more recent incidents, like Darrien Hunt--who was shot and killed by police in Saratoga Springs in September, and Dillon Taylor, who died after being shot in a 7-Eleven parking lot in Salt Lake City last August.

Taylor's shooting was declared justified earlier this week, and footage from the officer's body camera was released. The fatal shooting of Hunt is still under review, though officials recently released audio from the 911 call that brought police to the area where Hunt was walking around with a samurai style sword.

"I am still in shock today. And as sad and distraught as I am, it doesn't compare to what my sister is experiencing", Hunt's aunt, Gina Thayne, told the crowd.

Another speaker, Marlee Kanosh, traveled from Millard County to Salt Lake City. Her brother, Corey Kanosh, died after being shot by a police officer in a rural area in October of 2012.

She believes proper medical attention following the shooting would have saved his life, and has since filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Millard County Sheriff's Office.

"We need to make a change, because no one knows who is going to be next" she said.


  • Captain Obvious

    Who is going to be next ? The next cop who doesn’t shoot a criminal who he or she is justified in shooting , and instead is killed by that suspect . Start taking responsibility for your children’s failures , or accountability as your failure as a parent, first then question after wrong doing has been proven !

  • thom nielsen

    Sounds to me as though the commenters on this post have been fully indoctrinated. Though most shootings are justified, some are not. If someone is shot and killed in an unjustified cop shooting the result is manslaughter not murder.

  • Jay Dub

    You can buy samurai swords at the mall, the cop was all adrenalined up after gettin’ the call that someone had a “sword” flippin it around. This is a death that could have been prevented…and the disrespectful pukes that mock it behind your keyboards, I say this too….I hope something like this never happens to you. Perspective changes everything.

    • Dave

      You can buy guns at the mall to. It does not make them any less deadly. Common sense tells anyone with an ounce of brains not to wave it around at a public store and to put it down when told to do so. Cops were totally justified.

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