SLC PROTEST

Groups Supporting, Protesting Police March In Downton SLC On Same Night

Aug 22, 2020, 11:07 PM | Updated: 11:18 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Groups representing both sides of the issue surrounding police reform took to the streets and the Capitol in protest.

Both rallies started at 6 p.m. Saturday. Supporters of the Justice For Bernardo movement, against police brutality, met at the Capitol while the Blue Lives Matter March and Ride, in support of law enforcement, started at the City and County building.

Representatives from several groups, including the Utah Black Republican Assembly, the Civilized Awakening, and the Concerned Citizens of Utah, said they support the law enforcement community in light of the protests against police brutality. They also called to defend police departments.

Supporters marched up State Street to the Capitol.

One of the organizers said defunding police departments is a loss for communities.

“Our policemen do a lot of good in our communities,” said Roderick Threats, chairman of the Utah Black Republican Assembly. “They are deeply rooted in our communities, and they are the first deterrent in our school systems to rule out gang violence or potential gang members and actually sit down these kids and kind of turn them the correct way. If we defund the police, then we lose those resource officers in the schools.”

Meanwhile, a couple dozen supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement, which is against police brutality, gathered on the east side of the City and County building.

They said they were going to protect the recently inaugurated Black Lives Matter mural after rumors sparked with threats of vandalism.

Utah Chapter BLM founder Lex Scott said their intention was to protect the mural until the opposing rally ended.

A short confrontation started when a handful of the Blue Lives Matter supporters came onto their side and walked near the mural.

“We’re never saying that Black lives matter more or the most,” said Lex Scott. “We are saying that they matter because they do. We are profiled by police, we are killed by police, and all that we are asking for is that police are held to the same standard as us.”

A third rally also took place Saturday evening in support of the locally-based Justice For Bernardo movement.

Protestors representing six different groups — Local Propagandists, Justice for Cody, Just Media Utah, Rose Park Brown Berets, Decarcerate Utah, and PSI — gathered at the Capitol and made their way to the District Attorney’s Office to demand that all felony charges against protestors accused of vandalism during previous protests be dropped.

On Friday, a judge lowered first degree felony charges against a handful of protestors accused of vandalizing the District Attorney’s Office. They no longer face a max sentence of life in prison.

But protesters said that isn’t enough and they want all charges dropped.

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Groups Supporting, Protesting Police March In Downton SLC On Same Night