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Governor Calls For Civility After ‘Violent’ Protest In Downtown Building

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Following a protest of the Inland Port that erupted into violence, Governor Gary Herbert held a press conference Wednesday to call for civility on all sides.

Herbert and the Salt Lake City Police Chief called the incident the most violent protest they had ever seen in Utah.

The protest started peacefully at Washington Square, outside the City County Building, and then spilled across the street into the offices of the Salt Lake Chamber.

In a press release, protesters characterized their actions as non-violent, and the police response as a violent escalation of force. The governor and the police chief disagreed.

This was not just a protest; this was borderline terrorism. This was bullying, intimidation, and violence, and will not be tolerated.

“I observed something yesterday that I’ve never seen before in the State of Utah,” said Governor Gary.

It was a level of violence that made him worry.

“I’ve never seen that before,” he said. “I’m just here to say that we need to stop it now. We need to nip it in the bud.”

WATCH: Raw Video of Protesters’ Clash With Police

“We need to distinguish between peaceful protest and what happened in the chamber office, at a private place of business yesterday,” said Derek Miller, who serves as the volunteer chairman of the Inland Port Authority, separate from his job as the president of the Salt Lake Chamber.

Employees of the chamber told him the group entered the building quickly, yelling and screaming, some of them wearing masks. They reportedly started to destroy property, breaking security cameras in the lobby.

“Including urinating in some of the offices,” said Miller.

Gov. Gary Herbert calls for civility after violent protests over the Inland Port yesterday.

Posted by KSL Newsradio on Wednesday, July 10, 2019

It was frightening for employees, he said, who felt “Under attack by a violent mob.”

“I have never seen anything that violent,” said Chief Brown.

His department was investigating, and gathering video evidence to identify offenders.

Eight people were arrested. Five were taken to jail and three others were cited and released.

“None of our community will be allowed to be victimized in these events,” said Brown.

The governor was also concerned that some in the group of protesters were self-proclaimed anarchists, and their actions amount to acts of terrorism.

“We the people of Utah ought to rise up and say that is not acceptable in Utah,” said Governor Herbert. “So, a call for civility, and a call for respect for those who have a different opinion.”

Protest organizers did not return calls to KSL TV for comment as the time of this report.

Salt Lake Mayor Speaks About Downtown Protest

Salt Lake Mayor Jackie Biskupski and Police Chief Mike Brown hold their own press conference after the governor's call for civility.

Posted by KSL Newsradio on Wednesday, July 10, 2019



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