DA declines to prosecute ‘curfew violations’ and ‘failure to disperse’ citations issued during SLC protests

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Protesters flip a car before burning it Saturday, May 30, 2020, in Salt Lake City. Thousands of people converged on downtown Salt Lake City on Saturday to protest the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and some demonstrators set fire to a police car and threw eggs and wrote graffiti on a police station. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Salt Lake County District Attorney announced Thursday they will not be prosecuting any cases of individuals who received curfew violations or failure to disperse citations stemming from the protests last month.

The Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office and the Salt Lake City Prosecutor’s Office have been in the process of reviewing materials and cases originating out of the recent protests that turned violent in downtown Salt Lake City and at the Utah State Capitol. 

The DA said anyone who was asked to leave, during the “lawful, protected First Amendment activity,” or those who violated curfew, during the protests on Saturday, May 30, will not be prosecuted by their office.

District Attorney Sim Gill said this determination was made as a matter of fairness, as a practical resource management consideration, and consistent with this office’s commitment to criminal justice reform.

“Public safety is the first priority of the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office,” said Sim Gill. “We must also acknowledge that public safety includes protecting the constitutional rights of Salt Lake County residents, especially when the exercise of those rights does not involve injury or harm to people or property.”

The DA also said any law-enforcement agencies that may be sending screenings to the DA for “failure to disperse” and “curfew violations” are being advised to devote their resources to more serious charges as screening packets sent to them for those two issues will be declined, without prejudice.

If evidence merits more serious charges, those will be considered. 

Those who caused injury to others or property and those cited for unlawful riot, however, are still being charged if there is enough evidence and if they feel like they would have success at a trial.

All individuals involved are entitled to the presumption of innocence and due process.

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