LOCAL NEWS

Hundreds Protest Election Results At Utah State Capitol

Jan 6, 2021, 7:11 PM | Updated: 7:13 pm

Hundreds of Pro-Trump protesters gather outside the Utah State Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. (Dan Rascon...

Hundreds of Pro-Trump protesters gather outside the Utah State Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. (Dan Rascon/KSL-TV)

(Dan Rascon/KSL-TV)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Hundreds of protesters and President Donald Trump supporters spent the day at the Utah State Capitol speaking out against the election process and results of the 2020 presidential election.

Protesters said it was “rigged” and a “fraud.”

“I feel like the election was stolen. I feel like there was a lot of fraud involved. I feel like there was a lot of shady stuff going on with the votes,” said protester Thomas Cole.

The protest started around noon and continued to grow. By late afternoon the capitol steps and lawn area were filled with people carrying the American flag, Trump flags, and a variety of signs.

Many also were openly carrying guns. From handguns to rifles. “It’s my right to carry my guns. It’s my right to conceal them. It’s my right to hold them,” said Michelle Prether, who brought her gun. “I’m going to prove that today by showing up and supporting it.”

Organizers of the rally identified themselves as “Stop the Steal.”

One news photographer with the Salt Lake Tribune was pepper-sprayed while covering the event, and another person’s phone was stolen from them as they recorded video.

“This is disgusting,” Gov. Spencer Cox tweeted in response to a Tribune reporter. “We will work with Capitol security to ensure the perpetrator(s) are held accountable and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Members of the Proud Boys organization also were seen escorting people who did not share their views out of the area.

The Utah Highway Patrol said there were no mandatory evacuations at the capitol as may have been reported on social media. A tweet said an early work release was offered at 2:00 p.m. for those workers and “many took advantage of that”.

Protester Michael Spencer said he wished the government would do more investigating into the elections.

“I don’t believe [Joe Biden] is the legitimate winner, but if he’s the winner I will support him. I will pray for him, but I don’t believe it was a legitimate election,” he said.

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Hundreds Protest Election Results At Utah State Capitol