8 arrested amid Inland Port protest, police say

Local (Utah/State News)

5 jailed, 3 cited and released in connection with demonstration

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Eight individuals were arrested at a protest against the Utah Inland Port Tuesday.

Several groups and hundreds of people descended upon the Salt Lake Chamber Tuesday afternoon to demand the state cancels its plan for the port.

Salt Lake City police said the charges for those arrested range from riot, assault, criminal mischief, and trespassing.

In a statement, Salt Lake City Department said, “We are committed to allowing the public to peaceably assemble and urge everyone to remain respectful toward one another.”

No serious injuries were reported, but SLCPD Detective Greg Wilking said officers and protesters sustained some minor scrapes, bumps, and bruises during the incident.

The demonstration started outside the City and County Building before protestors marched to occupy the lobby of the Salt Lake Chamber. SLC police responded and the protest later spilled out into the street prompting officers to shut down roads in the area.

Protesters said they’re worried about the potential environmental impact of the inland port at the expense of the communities on Salt Lake City’s west side.

Proponents of the port argue it will boost Utah’s economy by providing a “dry port” to import and export goods to and from coastal seaports.

SLC mayoral candidate Luz Escamilla said she supports peaceful protests but protesters “crossed the line” during Tuesday’s demonstration.

A few people reportedly “ransacked” the reception area outside Salt Lake Chamber CEO Derek Miller’s office. Miller also serves as the chairman of the Inland Port Authority Board.

“I’m thankful no one was hurt, but let me be clear: the destruction of property and physical intimidation is neither warranted nor is it constructive,” Escamilla said in a statement.

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