SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Activists took the streets of Salt Lake City Saturday evening to call for a major change in police oversight.
The demonstration was organized by Utahns Against Police Brutality in association with Salt Lake Civilian Police Accountability Council (SLCPAC) and National Alliance Against Racist & Political Repression (NAARPR).
The groups marched from the Utah State Capitol to the governor’s mansion to demand Governor Gary Herbert call a special session of the state legislature to repeal what they call the “repressive” House Bill 415.
The bill passed in the 2019 legislative session and signed into law by Herbert “prohibits a municipality from establishing a board or committee with certain powers over a police chief.” It also “establishes limitations on a municipality’s power to establish a board or committee that relates to the provision of law enforcement services.”
The groups’ main goal is to establish civilian control over the state’s police forces. According to the NAARPR’s website, the group is organizing for passage of new legislation to establish an elected civilian police accountability council that would “hold police officers accountable for crimes such as assault, murder, torture, and racial profiling.”
The groups also want justice for all families who they say have been “victimized” by Utah police and demand their cases be reopened.
The demonstrations caused some delays as Salt Lake City police closed roads to accommodate the march.