COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah (ABC4 News) – The city of Cottonwood Heights is withdrawing a criminal charge against one of its councilmembers after a protest turned violent. The city said it is pulling the charge to avoid a potential conflict of interest.
The charge against Natalie “Tali” Bruce stems from an Aug. 2 incident in Cottonwood Heights. A protest over the death of a man who was fatally shot by police resulted in a clash with officers and several people were taken into custody.
Bruce was originally charged with one count of interference with a peace officer making lawful arrest, a class B misdemeanor.
According to a statement released Thursday evening, Cottonwood Heights’ city administration learned Thursday morning that the city’s contract prosecutor filed the misdemeanor charge against Bruce the day before.
“To avoid any potential conflict of interest, under authority of Utah Code Ann. 10-3-928, the city attorney has directed the city prosecutor to file a notice of withdrawal concerning this matter, after which prosecution will be referred to an (as yet undetermined) independent prosecutor who is unaffiliated with the city of Cottonwood Heights,” the city said.
The current charge against Bruce will be dismissed, but it could be re-filed by an independent prosecutor.
The city said it will look to an outside agency to fully investigate the events surrounding the protest.