CRIME

4 U of U students, 1 employee arrested during pro-Palestinian protest

Apr 30, 2024, 4:18 PM | Updated: May 1, 2024, 7:42 am

Police break up the demonstrators gathered at the University of Utah to show support for Palestine ...

Police break up the demonstrators gathered at the University of Utah to show support for Palestine in Salt Lake City on Monday, April 29, 2024. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

(Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Nineteen people were arrested during Monday night’s pro-Palestinian protest at the University of Utah, including four students of the school and one school employee.

Chris Nelson, the U.’s chief spokesman and communications director, told KSL that the other 14 arrested people were “unaffiliated” with the university.

Booking documents were available for two of the people, 29-year-old David Reid Johnson and 22-year-old Simeon Ryan Hammond.

Police affidavits stated that Johnson was “participating in an unlawful assembly (and) he was given several warnings to leave the area but refused.”

According to police, Johnson attempted to pick up an object from the ground to throw at officers. One officer noticed this and “engaged” Johnson with a “40mm marker munition, striking his wrist and causing him to drop the object and also be clearly marked by green powder,” the affidavit stated.

Police said an officer noticed Johnson as he attempted to flee from the protest. The affidavit stated that Johnson yelled an expletive while realizing that “officers were attempting to catch him.”

“When officers caught Johnson, he actively struggled and resisted by pulling his hands away, twisting his body, and attempting to stand, despite officers’ commands to stop resisting,” according to the affidavit.

 

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Another police affidavit stated that Hammond and other protesters were given three lawful orders to “disperse from the area, but they remained and disobeyed those lawful orders.

“During the protest, (Hammond) was also observed throwing water bottles and other projectiles at law enforcement,” the affidavit stated.

According to the affidavits, Johnson was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on misdemeanor charges of failing to disperse, criminal trespass, riot, interference with an arresting officer, and failing to stop at the command of law enforcement.

Hammond was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on misdemeanor charges of failing to disperse, criminal trespass upon the institution of higher learning, and assault on a police officer.

The affidavits did not say if Hammond’s or Johnson were affiliated with the school.

Nelson said that two police officers at the protest were hurt with minor injuries. Neither officer was hospitalized.

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4 U of U students, 1 employee arrested during pro-Palestinian protest