14 People Charged For Conduct During Inland Port Protest
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Fourteen people have been charged for their conduct during a July 9 Inland Port protest at the Utah State Chamber of Commerce building, according to Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill.
Ten were charged with counts of rioting, a third-degree felony, and criminal trespass, a Class B misdemeanor, on Monday while four others were charged with misdemeanors.
“Our office reviewed wide-ranging and vast amounts of evidence, including body camera footage, cell phone footage, surveillance footage, and media footage,” officials with the Salt Lake Couty District Attorney’s Office said in a press release. “We also carefully considered the sometimes difficult but crucial distinction between lawful protest, which is protected by the First Amendment, and the criminal conduct of specific individuals, which is not.”
Kaden Fralick, 21, Randy Navarette, 20, Rosemarie O’brien, 25, Hannah Zivolich, 24, Ethan Petersen, 25, Amy Kovac, 28, Richard Anderson Jr., 31, Nicholas Jones, 30, Jackson Richman, 18, and Joshua Baker-Cooper, 34, were named in the Third District Court indictment Monday.
“This is not about shutting out anybody’s voice,” Gill said. “It’s about saying in a civil society, we’re not going to tolerate also the violation of other people’s rights as well.”
Some of the defendants were also charged with assault, propelling a bodily substance, interfering with arresting officers and/or assault against a peace officer or military service member.
“There was almost $7,000 worth of damage…where individuals defecated and urinated,” Gill said.
Protesters had gathered at the City and County Building on July 9 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.
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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.
Eight people were arrested after the incident.
Activist groups defended themselves in response to the protest and claimed they’d gone through other channels trying to get their voices heard, and protesting was not their first attempt at communication with government officials.