SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Following the impending verdict in Derek Chauvin’s trial for the death of George Floyd, officials say there are planned protests scheduled from Minneapolis to Salt Lake City.
Barricades are already up at the Salt Lake City Public Safety Building.
Police and the Utah National Guard are on standby, preparing for potential civil unrest.
Authorities say they don’t want to stop freedom of speech, but want to keep people safe.
Black Lives Matter Utah is planning to demonstrate, calling to end police brutality.
Former defense attorney Greg Skordas has been following Chauvins murder trial closely.
“This case has been highly unusual because a lot of other officers did testify against officer Chauvin, including his own chief, that is very unusual testifying that he violated procedures in that department,” Skordas says.
The night Floyd was killed, Chauvin’s defense team says the officer may have been distracted by the mob of people watching, but prosecutors say Chauvin displayed pride over-policing.
“He would have realized the danger of what he was doing, but his pride with a lot of people standing around and people videotaping and other officers they’re sort of took over his judgment,” Skordas explains.
Skordas says it was a mistake that Chauvin did not take to the stand to defend himself.
“I really think after so many weeks of the jury looking at that man, watching him, and watching his mannerism, they wanted to hear his voice, they wanted him to get on the stand and say, ‘I am sorry I made a mistake,'” Skordas adds.
Skordas says this trial will stimulate police reform and changes to conduct.
The jury in Minneapolis is deliberating whether Chauvin will be charged with third- or second-degree murder or manslaughter.
Local law enforcement says they are prepared for the worst hoping for the best.