Inland Port Protesters Clash With Police; Force Downtown Closures
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A protest over the Inland Port Authority has led to clashes with police and the closure of roads near the City County Building in downtown Salt Lake City.
There was a heavy police presence in the area Tuesday afternoon, as several of the protesters were in the road and blocking traffic.
Officers with the Salt Lake City Police Department closed 200 East from approximately 300 South to 500 South, and 400 South from State Street to 300 East. Traffic has since been allowed to travel across 400 South.
Protesters had gathered at the City County Building before making their way to the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce offices across the street at 175 East 400 South, where the Port Authority was having a meeting.
LIVE: 200 E is closed from 300 S. to 400 S. in SLC and 400 S. is closed from 300 E. to State St. as demonstrators demand that the Utah Inland Port project be canceled immediately
Posted by KSL 5 TV on Tuesday, July 9, 2019
Video showed protesters clashing with officers in the lobby of the building and shouting at police, chanting “Abort the Port.” Officers forcibly removed the protesters from the building.
Officers said 8 arrests were made. Five people were taken to jail and another three were cited and released.
Officials with the police department said they supported the public’s right to protest, saying the protest inside the building got out of hand, forcing them to act.
“Any of these kinds of situations could become quite volatile. We’re concerned about every one’s safety, including the protestors, people who come around to see what’s happening, and people going about their normal business in the office,” said a police department spokesperson.
— SLC Police Dept. (@slcpd) July 9, 2019
Gov. Gary Herbert released a statement about the protests that broke out at the Chamber of Commerce Building in Salt Lake City earlier today:
“Anti-Inland Port activists went way beyond the pale today when they stormed the Chamber of Commerce Building, attacked journalists, and terrified workers at the chamber.
This was more than just a protest; this was borderline terrorism. This was more than people just standing up for a cause they believe in; this was having no tolerance for a difference of opinion. This was bullying, intimidation, and violence, and will not be tolerated. I call upon all elected officials, all people of good will and character, and all running for the office of Salt Lake City Mayor to condemn today’s protests in the strongest terms.
I am grateful for the work of law enforcement officers who intervened in an effort to restore peace and order, and emphasize that while peaceful protest will always be welcomed in Utah as a means of free speech, violent protests and rioting have no place in our society,” Herbert said in a released statement.
- 1 Arrested, 3 Cited After Protest Disrupts Inland Port Authority Board Meeting
- Inland Port Compromise Announced, Special Session Scheduled for Wednesday
- Governor signs SB 234, Inland Port Bill, plans special sessions to make changes