Salt Lake City Leaders Announce Commission On Racial Equity In Policing

Jun 25, 2020, 1:54 PM

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Salt Lake City leaders on Thursday announced the creation of a new commission that will make recommendations to the mayor and city council on matters of policy, budget, and the culture of policing.

Mayor Erin Mendenhall and the Salt Lake City Council made the announcement at the International Peace Gardens.

The core members of the Commission on Racial Equity in Policing will include Rev. France Davis, pastor emeritus of the Calvary Baptist Church; Aden Batar, Director of Migration and Refugee Services for Catholic Community Services; Verona Sagato-Mauga, Executive Director of Renew Wellness & Recovery; Darlene McDonald, chair of the Utah Black Roundtable; Dr. Moises Prospero of iChamps and a direct practitioner in the area of criminal, juvenile & social justice; and Nicole Salazar-Hall, attorney and current Salt Lake City Human Rights Commissioner.

Mendenhall said the commission will advise city leaders “even when what they’re telling us may be hard to hear and may be even harder to change.”

“I truly believe this commission can result in real and positive change to the way that our police department functions — as an institution and a figure in our community, and also be an example to cities and police departments across the nation,” she said.

The core council will identify additional people to serve on the commission to ensure it includes a broad mix of experience and backgrounds, according to a statement from the city.

“I firmly believe that we now have a chance to move forward in this unprecedented journey toward equity,” Council Chair Chris Wharton said. “The commission has the support and respect of the City Council, and I invite all members of the community to step forward together with us in this work for equity.”

The group will be asked to provide a monthly or bi-monthly update to the council and the mayor, which may include policy recommendations that can be implemented in the short term. The commission will also be asked to provide a final report that includes a compendium of policy recommendations, budget recommendations, and culture and environment recommendations to be implemented by the Salt Lake City Police Department.

“Once the protests end and the streets become quiet, it is imperative that we not lose focus,” said commission member Darlene McDonald. “We must redefine a new normal in policing. The Commission on Racial Equity in Policing is a first step. As Chair of the Utah Black Roundtable, I’m grateful to be included in this process.”

“… Your work is essential to our city’s future but to our people today, too,” Mendenhall said at the Thursday press conference. “Thank you for your generosity, your skills, and your willingness that you bring to this work, and I thank you for the future generations of Salt Lake City residents and  everyone else who will learn from the work that you will produce for us.”

KSL 5 TV Live

SLC Protest

Rioters flipped and set a Salt Lake City Police car on fire during the riot in Downtown on May 30, ...

Dan Rascon, KSL TV

No jail time for man who set police car on fire during 2020 riots in SLC

A federal judge granted mercy to a man who set fire to a Salt Lake City police car during the 2020 riots in downtown. 

2 years ago

Rioters flipped and set a Salt Lake City Police car on fire during the riot in Downtown on May 30, ...

Alex Cabrero, KSL TV

SLC Police Chief Reflects On Downtown Riot Nearly One Year Later

Protests and riots broke out around the country a year ago following the death of George Floyd. That unrest later spread to Salt Lake City where a police car was flipped and lit on fire. Police Chief Mike Brown sat down with KSL-TV nearly a year later to reflect back on the day that changed the city and his department. 

3 years ago

Body camera footage obtained exclusively by KSL TV shows the moment a protester threw a rock at a S...

Alex Cabrero

Remembering A Summer Filled With Protests In Utah

In a year marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, a presidential election, and even a serious earthquake, one of the biggest stories here in Utah is what happened on a Saturday afternoon in May. A protest in downtown Salt Lake City turned violent, leaving us with images many never thought we'd see here.

3 years ago

Protesters and police officers line a street in downtown Salt Lake City Saturday, May 30, 2020. (Sh...

Matthew Jacobson, KSL TV

SLCPD Officer Who Pushed Elderly Man During Protest Will Not Be Charged

At the request of the victim, no criminal charges will be filed against an officer who was captured on video pushing an elderly man to the ground during a protest in Salt Lake City.

3 years ago


Tania Dean, KSL TV

Protestors March To State Capitol Armed With Guns

A group of protestors marched to the Capitol to rally against police brutality and in favor of equality, but the difference in Sunday's rally was that most of the protestors were armed with semi-automatic weapons.

4 years ago

FILE: Salt Lake City County Building (Getty Images)...

Matt Rascon, KSL TV

SLC’s Commission On Racial Equity Holds First Weekly Meeting

Salt Lake City's newly-formed commission on racial equity met for the first time Wednesday.

4 years 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.

Salt Lake City Leaders Announce Commission On Racial Equity In Policing