SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill spoke to ABC4 Monday about the dozens of arrests over the weekend during the protests downtown.
“There was an officer that was assaulted allegedly with a bat, and was hit in his helmet, there were other officers who had projectiles or other items hit them,” said Gill.
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“As well as civilians who were injured and hurt as well,” he added.
Gill says more than 100 videos are being reviewed from this weekend, after clashes between protesters and police — including a burned-out police vehicle — and a man who allegedly pointed a bow and arrow at protesters.
Damage and vandalism, he says, could be found on a 7-11, the State Capitol, City Creek Mall and the police station, among other locations.
He says he supports peaceful protests — and the causes around George Floyd’s death that brought so many people downtown — but not the violence.
ABC4 asked Gill about the video captured Saturday that shows an officer shove down an elderly man with a cane.
“If somebody engages in any kind of conduct, whether it is a civilian or a police officer, if it’s a violation of the law, we’re going to take a look at it. Simultaneously, as this person may have done that, it was also important to see other officers running down and coming to the aid of that elderly person as well,” said Gill.
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Gill says it’s too early to tell where the protesters are from — whether they are local or from somewhere else. But, he says, that isn’t important — their First Amendment rights do not begin or end on state or county lines.
“While I understand this desire at the national level, and even at the local level, to find some conspiracy or some cause to blame, let’s not lose the focus that we have a large number of our citizens who are genuinely concerned about the notion of justice in this country. They’re genuinely concerned about the treatment that somebody gets because of the color of their skin and the disproportionate impact in our criminal justice system,” said Gill.
Gill recently signed a letter, along with 39 other District Attorneys nationwide, condemning the murder of George Floyd.