Curfew Enacted As Protests Continue In SLC; Multiple Cars Set On Fire

May 30, 2020, 12:40 PM | Updated: Jul 13, 2023, 12:42 pm

A Salt Lake City police vehicle was destroyed on Saturday, May 30. (Alex Cabrero/KSL TV)...

A Salt Lake City police vehicle was destroyed on Saturday, May 30. (Alex Cabrero/KSL TV)

(Alex Cabrero/KSL TV)

SALT LAKE CITY — Thousands of protesters gathered near the Salt Lake City Public Safety Building to make their voices known as part of the national George Floyd rallies.

The protest began around noon Saturday and 600 South was blocked as dozens of cars lined the streets. The protest then spread north along State Street to the Utah State Capitol complex, which was covered with graffiti in places.

SLC police have asked people to avoid the downtown metro area “due to civil unrest” and a curfew that lasts through 6 a.m. Monday has been enacted.

“The safe space we offered for today’s protest is no longer safe for anybody,” said SLC Mayor Erin Mendenhall. “Please, if you are on Salt Lake City’s streets right now and do not meet those exceptions, go home.”

Downtown SLC Protests Continue

LIVE: Downtown protests continuing in downtown SLC.(Warning: graphic language or signs could be heard or seen during the video.)

Posted by KSL 5 TV on Saturday, May 30, 2020

Around 3 p.m., dozens of protesters were seen flipping a Salt Lake City Police Department patrol vehicle on its side.

The vehicle was vandalized and set on fire after being flipped on its roof.

Posted by KSL 5 TV on Saturday, May 30, 2020

Protesters Destroy SLC PD Vehicle

LIVE: Protesters overturn and vandalize a Salt Lake City Police Department patrol vehicle.

Posted by KSL 5 TV on Saturday, May 30, 2020

Plenty of honking could be heard in the area, while many could be seen holding signs out their windows or displaying words on their vehicles.

Witnesses said people were climbing on the SLC Public Safety Building and spray painting profane words on it

People could be heard yelling things like, “I can’t breathe!” and “Black Lives Matter!”

Many were also seen raising their fists or taking a knee in support of the movement.

Gov. Gary Herbert’s office issued the following statement Saturday evening: “We are in close contact with our department of public safety and receiving regular updates. Our hearts break for the family of George Floyd and for his unnecessary death. We are grateful for the swift actions taken by the state of Minnesota to hold those responsible for his death accountable.

“We can not, however, condone violence, defacement of public buildings, and destruction of property. We call upon the good people of Utah to engage civilly and to act peaceably as they seek to exercise their First Amendment rights.”

More people arriving to Salt Lake City Police headquarters.

Posted by KSL 5 TV on Saturday, May 30, 2020

Sgt. Keith Horrocks with the Salt Lake City Police Department said a woman attempted to attack several protestors with a hammer.

One woman was reportedly hit, but she denied medical attention.

Protestors were able to wrestle the hammer from the woman’s hand.

She ran off before police could make any contact.

A man was detained during protests in downtown Salt Lake City after witnesses said he got out of his vehicle with a knife and bow and arrow.

Police said they know who the man is and intend to screen charges against him.

Protesters told KSL the man arrived in a vehicle before pulling back the bow; that vehicle was subsequently flipped on its roof and lit on fire.

Protests/rallies surrounding the George Floyd movement happening at the Salt Lake City Police Department.

Posted by KSL 5 TV on Saturday, May 30, 2020

Utah Transit Authority officials said TRAX and bus service in the area has been suspended. Protesters told KSL’s Alex Cabrero they were leaving downtown SLC and heading toward the Utah State Capitol.

Around 10 p.m., a protester reportedly broke into the capitol but officials with the Utah Department of Public Safety said the complex was secure and no one had entered the capitol.

Looters briefly took over a 7-Eleven convenience store near 400 South and 300 East.

Video from Chopper 5 showed looters running from the store as they carried boxes and containers full of goods.

One woman was seen yelling at people as they ran in and out of the store.

The looters disbanded after a few minutes.

Officers from the Salt Lake City and West Valley City police departments arrived near the library TRAX station in riot gear just after 5 p.m.

Moments later, Gov. Herbert tweeted that the Utah National Guard had been activated to help control the situation.

“Nearly 30 members of the Utah Air National Guard’s 151st Security Forces Squadron and approximately 150 members of the Utah Army National Guard’s Reaction Force were activated to help Salt Lake City law enforcement agencies protect lives and property in SLC,” Utah National Guard officials said.

Guardsmen will be involved in planning and enforcing the citywide curfew that lasts until 6 a.m. Monday, officials added.

Mayor Mendenhall, Gov. Herbert and SLCPD Chief Mike Brown held a press conference announcing the curfew that lasts through Monday morning.

Chief Brown said one officer was attacked by a protester with a baseball bat.

“Somebody ran up behind him and the struck him to the back of the head,” Brown said. “Had it not been for his helmet, he could have been seriously injured and maybe killed. Right now, he’s in bravo condition at the hospital.”

Six arrests had been made as of 9:15 p.m. and two officers were taken to area hospitals for heat exhaustion.

SLC set a record high at 98 degrees on Saturday.

Officers from multiple agencies began pushing the line of protesters south toward 600 South along 200 East around 10 p.m. and began making arrests.

Gov. Herbert said due to the curfew and historic nature of the Utah State Capitol, they will rely on professional cleaning crews to remove graffiti.

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Curfew Enacted As Protests Continue In SLC; Multiple Cars Set On Fire