Outside Investigators Will Review Police Confrontation With Cottonwood Heights Protesters
COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah – The City of Cottonwood Heights announced it will have outside investigators review how police responded during a protest that ended as a violent confrontation with multiple arrests last Sunday.
The incident started as a demonstration at Mill Hollow Park against police brutality.
A news release said, “Cottonwood Heights officials recognize that there are significant issues, tension, and differences of opinion regarding the response by police on this matter.”
“We have heard the calls from our residents and other individuals, and we understand their concerns,” said Mayor Mike Peterson.
Peterson said an outside agency will conduct a full investigation after a criminal investigation and internal review of the incident are complete.
There is no indication which agency will investigate the incident.
Demonstrators were specifically protesting the 2018 fatal shooting of 19-year-old Zane James. James was shot in the back as he was running away from police. Police said he robbed two stores at gunpoint.
James’ mother spoke to KSL as police were confronting the protesters. “So we are seeing all of the things that everyone has been talking about in this small city in Utah, and that’s what we want to talk about,” said Tiffany James. “It’s a culture of police power that’s been growing.”
“This is unbelievable,” she said. “This is not how you respond to the community.”
Police said the protesters were not allowed on the street and officers tried moving them to the sidewalk.
“We told them if you stay in the street, we will arrest you,” said Lt. Dan Bartlett with the Cottonwood Heights Police Department. “It got into a little bit of a melee and they started assaulting some of the cops, so we made some arrests.”
Police used tasers and tear gas on the protesters. Eight people were arrested including James’ father.
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