Chalk Protest Leads To Talk Of Criminal Mischief

Apr 5, 2019, 10:59 PM

LEHI, Utah — Criminal mischief isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think about chalk, but that’s the language demonstrators in Lehi encountered, amid a protest against a development project in the city.

“It’s alarming,” Traverse Mountain resident Erin Faraclas said. “They were threatening criminal charges.”

Faraclas is one of several people in the neighborhood protesting the development project that involves the company Geneva Rock grading an area to make way for homes near Traverse Mountain.

They say their concern is safety and the impact the project could have on the air quality.

“As a lung cancer survivor…I’m afraid,” Faraclas said. “Because I know what dirty air can do.”

The neighbors have been pushing back against the project for years. But this week, the city decided the group’s latest tactic of using chalk to write its message on the sidewalks and steps surrounding Lehi City Hall, was crossing a line.

“Police got involved because it was becoming an issue for Lehi city,” Sergeant Bart Kirkham with the Lehi Police Department said. “It is defacing property even though it’s not permanent.”

Faraclas wasn’t there for the chalk protest, but supports the messages about air quality that parents and children left on the concrete.

“They wanted to create positive messages of the value of clean air,” he said.

Still, Sgt. Kirkham says “the city’s having to pay in resources and manpower to have that removed…It stepped over that line of protest and freedom of speech to possibly a crime.”

As of Friday, no one had been cited.

The ACLU of Utah said in a statement to KSL TV:

“If the city threatens criminal charges for chalk drawings on the sidewalk in front of city hall, they need to apply the same enforcement to drawings on all city sidewalks — otherwise it might appear that they are targeting the content of the message, and not the actual conduct.”

As for the Faraclas, they want the attention to turn from the chalk on the sidewalk, to the words they left behind for the city.

No one at Lehi City Hall was available for comment during Friday’s coverage of this story, but Sgt. Kirkham said the city had no issue with the protest, only the chalk they had to clean up.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

man holds gun...

Shelby Lofton

Expert breaks down how far someone can legally go to protect their Utah property

A tense interaction between a snowboarder and a Brighton man has started conversation on Utah's trespassing laws, and now an expert is weighing in.

12 hours ago

New homes during construction. (Ray Boone, KSL News)...

Daniel Woodruff

Battle brewing between Utah builders, cities over home inspections

SB185, which passed the Senate this week and awaits a vote in the House of Representatives, could allow builders to pick their own inspectors.

13 hours ago

The stage of the Tabernacle Choir as they perform in Manila. (Dan Rascon, KSL News)...

Dan Rascon

Tabernacle Choir performs unforgettable concert in Manila

It was a night not to be forgotten in the Philippines as the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square performed  its first major concert before thousands of Filipinos at the Mall of Asia’s 9,000 set arena.

14 hours ago

Police are asking for help in locating the driver in a hit-and-run that sent a Sandy mother and her...

Shara Park

Sandy police seeking help in locating vehicle involved in a hit-and-run

Police are asking for help in locating the driver in a hit-and-run that sent a Sandy mother and her teenage daughter to the hospital.

15 hours ago

Keith Sorenson opens a tool shed to display the tools of the trade. (Stuart Johnson, KSL News)...

Alex Cabrero

Taylorsville heritage center reclaims stolen historic anvils

A pair of historically-significant anvils were finally returned to Taylorsville after being stolen two years ago.

15 hours ago

Herriman police are seeking the public's assistance in locating 76-year-old Joe Vakuata. (Herriman ...

Mark Jones

UPDATE: Herriman police find missing 76-year-old man safe

Herriman police are seeking the public's assistance in locating a missing 76-year-old man.

15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Chalk Protest Leads To Talk Of Criminal Mischief