Governor Herbert issues statement following protests in Salt Lake City

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Utah Gov. Gary Herbert shares updates during a COVID-19 pandemic press conference Monday, March 30, 2020, at the Utah State Capitol, in Salt Lake City. (Scott G Winterton/Deseret News, via AP, Pool)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – After assessing damage to the Salt Lake Downtown Area and to the State Capitol Building Governor Gary R. Herbert released a statement about the peaceful protest that turned violent Saturday.

Related: ABC4 News captures police officer armed in protest gear pushing down man with cane

In the statement, he said, “Like many Utahns, I was deeply saddened by last night’s protests. The days since George Floyd’s death have been painful for many in our nation. Our hearts ache for his family and for all who knew him — and we join the countless mourners across the country who were grieved and shocked to witness his unnecessary death. 

He added that peaceful protest will always have a place in the community, but the events of Saturday “were beyond the pale.”

Related: Police make dozens of arrests during protest that turned violent in Salt Lake City

“I was greatly troubled to see the vandalism carried out on the Capitol building, public spaces, and private property in our downtown area. I am grateful for the support of law enforcement officers from across the state, and for the support of our National Guard, in restoring law and order to our capital city. These men and women exercised patience and professionalism in de-escalating the situation last night.

“Today, as I visited the State Capitol, I saw hope and a spirit of cooperation return, as I visited with those who came to clean the building and its grounds. I believe that Utahns are empathetic. I believe that we care about each other. I believe that we will emerge from this difficult week more united and increasingly invested in promoting a just world for all.

“I am encouraged to see calm return to Salt Lake City and expect all to comply with the curfew put in place by Mayor Erin Mendenhall.”

Related: Salt Lake City under curfew restrictions, what that means for you

“Per an order from Mayor Mendenhall, Salt Lake City remains under curfew until 6:00 a.m. on Monday, June 1. Law enforcement officers are working to identify and charge individuals who committed crimes in the course of last night’s protests. 

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