UTAH COUNTY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Over the past several months Utah County Sheriff’s Office has received numerous inquiries from people who want to know what they can and cannot do in response to political and social protests, as many have taken place throughout the state of Utah.
Following a protest in Provo on Monday, June 29, that landed two individuals in jail connected to shooting. Utah County officials want people to understand that it is each individual’s responsibility to know the laws and how they apply to them.
The Constitutional “right of the people to peaceably assemble”, but we want to ensure that those who may desire to exercise this right understand what it entails and what it doesn’t. To “peaceably assemble” means to gather as a group and, without violating any laws or violating any of the Constitutional rights of others, express a point of view. Hand-held signs, placards, and the like are allowed in order to express a point of view. Megaphones and noisemakers are allowed unless they
violate a noise ordinance. Time of gathering is not a factor unless it violates an ordinance.
Utah County Sheriff’s office says they welcome community members to gather lawfully in the interest of political and social discourse. “When you gather in accordance with the law, we will protect and facilitate your right to do so.”
Any violations of the law, such as standing in the roadway (unless the roadway has
been closed to traffic by law enforcement), obstructing the passage of pedestrians or vehicles, threatening to do violence to persons or property, damaging personal property, assaulting individuals, making excessive noise, trespassing, or other violations of laws or ordinances. Additionally, pedestrians in the roadway do not have right of way unless they are lawfully in the roadway.
In other words, you must be in a crosswalk and crossing in accordance with traffic control devices, or in a roadway that has been closed to traffic by law enforcement. In the case of “jaywalking” (crossing in contravention of traffic signals or not in a crosswalk or at an intersection) or standing in a roadway obstructing traffic, vehicles have the right of way.
Blocking a vehicle from free and lawful movement may, in some cases, constitute unlawful detention of the vehicle’s occupants. In the cases where any of these violations happens, the pedestrians will be the ones held accountable for the violations of the law.
Any unlawful behavior will not be tolerated, the Sheriff’s office reserve the right to
hold any perpetrators accountable.