CORINNE -- A lawsuit was filed Thursday against Box Elder County, the sheriff's office and two individuals relating to an officer-involved fatal shooting last October that was deemed justified.
A news release from the law firm of Parker & McConkie called the deadly force used against Troy Clark Burkinshaw, 52, of Sandy, unlawful and unconstitutional.
The release said that on the evening of Oct. 26, Sheriff's Deputy Austin Bowcutt pulled over Burkinshaw for allegedly urinating on the side of State Road 13. Before the traffic stop was finished, Burkinshaw drove off, heading for his home.
After a pursuit that led to Corinne, the release states, Bowcutt attempted to block in Burkinshaw, who had turned down a dead-end road. Bowcutt exited his vehicle and got in front of Burkinshaw's car, yelling for him to stop. Bowcutt then fired three shots at Burkinshaw, killing him.
"At no time did Deputy Bowcutt attempt to use non-lethal options such as de-escalating the situation, disabling the car by shooting the tires or engaging in a PIT maneuver or disengaging and picking up Troy later at his home," the release said.
A report released by Box Elder County Attorney Stephen R. Hadfield after the shooting said Bowcutt smelled alcohol on Burkinshaw and saw what he believed was an alcohol bottle in his car during the original traffic stop. Later, after Bowcutt had boxed Burkinshaw into the dead end, Burkinshaw bumped Bowcutt with his car multiple times, causing Bowcutt to believe Burkinshaw was going to run him over.
Attempts to contact the Box Elder County Sheriff's Office and the Box Elder County Attorney's Office on Thursday were unsuccessful.
Parker & McConkie said the deadly force was unnecessary.
"We understand that police officers have a very difficult job," the law firm release states. "Unfortunately, the use of excessive and deadly force by the police has become an increasingly common occurrence in Utah communities. The firm of Parker & McConkie is representing Troy's estate in the hope of helping to stop this troubling pattern of behavior."