SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) — Utah Governor Spencer Cox has declared a state of emergency in Utah due to potential protests being held at the Utah State Capitol this weekend.
According to a statement from Gov. Cox’s office, the state of emergency is being declared in light of the protests that occurred at the U.S. State Capitol with caused 5 deaths, including that of a U.S. Capitol Police officer.
“We respect the right of Utah residents to peaceably assemble as guaranteed in the U.S.
Constitution,” said Cox. “But we draw the line at threats to physical safety or to the Utah Capitol
building. No violence of any kind will be tolerated,” Gov. Cox said in a release.
The Utah Highway Patrol and Utah National Guard, as well as other local police departments, have been put on standby in anticipation of a protest, according to a statement from Gov. Cox’s office.
Gov. Cox says he has been working “very closely” with the Department of Public Safety, the Utah National Guard, the Utah Legislature, and all those involved with the capitol complex to ensure safety in the coming days and weeks. Salt Lake City’s chapter of the FBI is also on standby ready to assist the state with any needed safety measures.
Last week, as protesters gathered at the nation’s Capitol to protest as members of the U.S. House and Senate met to record the vote tally affirming Joe Biden as the next president, Utahns joined in at the Utah State Capitol.