SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – On Wednesday, nearly a year after a protest turned into a riot in the streets of Salt Lake City, police reflect on the events.
Twenty-one officers were injured and 46 protesters were taken into custody. The Salt Lake Police Association thanked the officers for their hard work and says there is an investigation underway assessing their response.
“Words cannot express all the gratitude we have,” President Joe McBride says.
Demonstrators took to the streets, flipping over and lighting a police car on fire, vandalizing city property, and breaking into and looting local businesses.
The Salt Lake Police Department faced some backlash from the community about how they handled the riot.
“The vast overwhelming amount of police officers in this city and the state of Utah are good and selfless men and women,” McBride explains.
Since the riot, McBride says the department is struggling to hire and retain officers.
“Our numbers in Salt Lake City have dwindled. Law enforcement is struggling across the board,” McBride says. He adds communication and transparency from leadership is just as an issue now as it was then.
“What we would like to see is a much more vocal and involved leadership,” says McBride.
We reached out to the Salt Lake City Police Department who says, “We are familiar with these concerns and are working every day to build relationships within the department.”
The Salt Lake Police Association says an action reports will be released in the next two weeks, assessing what the department did right and wrong like preparedness and communications.