COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah (ABC 4 News) – On Tuesday, for the third straight day, protestors voiced concerns about Cottonwood Heights Police — even as dozens of citizens did the same during a digital-only City Council meeting.
Sunday’s protests escalated into police use of force, including a City Council member who says she was punched by police during the melee.
“I can’t get it out of my head,” said Anna McNamer, who was protesting Sunday and showed up in front of City Hall Tuesday night to hold a sign.
“After the cops beat the crud out of your neighbors — you devote your time,” added McNamer.
The videos and images of the Sunday protest, which she says started peacefully, spread rapidly on social media and TV.
“All of a sudden there was tons of pepper spray in the air, people were getting their faces bashed in, people were being tased,” said McNamer.
Even as people stood outside — many of them friends of Zane James, who was shot and killed by Cottonwood Heights Police in 2018 — a city council meeting drew dozens of comments as it streamed online.
On Monday, a much larger group gathered in Cottonwood Heights. Many protested against police brutality, while others had firearms and said they showed up to express their 2nd Amendment rights. That group also said they support Cottonwood Heights Police.
“I think the good needs to be recognized as well as the bad,” said Cottonwood Heights resident Sam George.
“If you lose someone that you care about, of course — you’re going to grieve that. And those people need empathy,” said George, who stood in support of police Tuesday night even as others stood nearby in support of Zane James and police reform.
“I’m not here to take away from their message, but my message is the same. If my kids call — I want someone to show up. If I call, I want them [police] to show up,” added George.
A Cottonwood Heights Police spokesperson confirmed to ABC4 that an internal investigation into use of force will happen by the police department.
An outside review by the Attorney General’s Office will also happen, city officials said during the Tuesday council meeting.