On the Site:

SLC PROTEST

Remembering A Summer Filled With Protests In Utah

Dec 26, 2020, 12:18 AM | Updated: Dec 5, 2022, 10:57 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — 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.

Protests have always happened in Utah, and the morning of May 30th was not that much different.

“This is what democracy looks like,” yelled demonstrators.

People voicing their opinions on the national topic of police brutality.

“I’m really glad it’s not violent because our kids are here and we wanted to show that we can protest peacefully,” a woman said at the protest.

But, that peaceful protest turned into a riot just after 3 p.m. when a handful of people flipped a Salt Lake City police car onto its side, then its roof.

Many erupted into cheers when the car was lit on fire.

“The situation here, I mean, is obviously completely out of control at this point,” said KSL TV’s Alex Cabrero as glass shattered around him during a Facebook Live. 

Salt Lake City police, as well as law enforcement agencies throughout the Wasatch Front, came downtown to break the riot up.

It took several hours, with people and officers being hurt in the clashes, but by 10 p.m., the riot was over.

Plenty of damage was left behind, including graffiti and vandalism at the Utah State Capitol, the very symbol of our society.

“Black Lives Matter, no justice, no peace, but graffiti? Damaging our Capitol? We didn’t win in this. We didn’t prove nothing,” said a man who volunteered to clean up the next morning.

That day was just the beginning of a summer filled with protests — most of them stayed peaceful, but a handful did turn violent like one in Provo where the driver of an SUV kept going as protesters were in the road.

“He was running them over and then he got me,” a female protestor said. “I ended up falling over to the side after he hit me.”

A man on the street pulled out a gun, walked up to the SUV, and shot the driver. That driver ended up going to the hospital. He lived, while the shooter was arrested.

There was also a protest in Cottonwood Heights where participants marched on the roads.

Police asked them to stay off the roads and when the people didn’t listen, protesters and officers started clashing.

“This is unbelievable,” a woman yelled.

Cottonwood Heights officers made several arrests, saying blocking traffic and marching in roads wasn’t something they would allow.

This isn’t Salt Lake City, this is Cottonwood Heights,” said an officer. “We’re not going to let them take over residential streets and not let people go to their homes.”

Then, in July, another protest in Salt Lake City turned into a riot, with people smashing the windows of the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office and painting the building and street red after DA Sim Gill cleared officers of shooting and killing a man months before.

Police didn’t move in until two men started breaking those windows, resulting in another standoff between officers and protesters.

“We just cannot allow that to happen and so we ordered our officers, our mobile forces, and our task forces to come in to disperse the crowd,” said Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown.

It was a summer that will always be remembered in Salt Lake City — a summer full of anger, emotion, actions and scars that will still take quite some time to heal.

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. 

3 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

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.

4 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

...

Garna Mejia

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

Groups representing both sides of the issue surrounding police reform took to the streets and the Capitol in protest. 

4 years ago

Sponsored Articles

young male technician is repairing a printer at office...

Les Olson

Unraveling the dilemma between leasing and buying office technology

Carefully weigh these pros and cons to make an informed decision that best suits your business growth and day-to-day operation. 

A kitchen in a modern farmhouse....

Lighting Design

A room-by-room lighting guide for your home

Bookmark this room-by-room lighting guide whenever you decide to upgrade your lighting or style a new home.

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Remembering A Summer Filled With Protests In Utah