National Guard called after Salt Lake City protest erupts in vandalism, violence

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Thousands gathered near the Salt Lake Library and Salt Lake Police Department in a peaceful protest against police brutality Saturday.

The event which was organized by Utah against Police Brutality was dubbed “Car Caravan for Justice” and started at 11:30 a.m.

PHOTOS: Thousands protest George Floyds death in Salt Lake City

Protesters were asked to drive the block around the Salt Lake City Police Department. Due to social distancing, organizers said everyone must be in a vehicle. Despite the directive, hundreds showed up on foot but wore their face coverings while holding up signs as they marched in protest over the death of George Floyd and many who have been killed at the hands of police brutality.

Related: Utah activists plan peaceful protests over George Floyd’s death

The peaceful protest turned violent as a police car was reportedly flipped and another car set on fire.

The Salt Lake City Police Department asked the public to stay away from downtown Salt Lake as the peaceful protest turned viloent.

Utah against police brutality explained their goal and hope for the protest on their Facebook Page as follows:

  • We plan to meet up at the parking lot near Denver St. and 5th South at 11 am. We’ll distribute some info and extra signs, at that time. Please maintain social distance and abide by all health precautions (like masks) at all times.
  • We’ll begin the caravan around the block containing the SLCPD station at 11:30 am. We’ll go clockwise around the block. 5th South, then, 3rd East, then 4th South, then 4th East, all right turns, then repeat. Honk as you pass the SLCPD station.
  • We discourage anyone from participating in this demonstration unless they are in a vehicle.
  • The National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression has called for a National Day of Protest on May 30th, 2020.
  • The importance of this call made clear by the continued brutal police killings over the past week, throughout Utah and the US.
  • We demand that killer cops be fired, charged, and jailed for their crimes
  • We demand the body footage of the police killings of Bernardo Palacios in SLC, last weekend
  • We demand justice for George Floyd, killed in Minneapolis on Monday
  • We demand the release of all torture victims in Chicago, and everywhere
  • We demand that police stop filling the jails with non-violent offenders during a global pandemic
  • We demand that incarcerated people at increased risk of Covid-19 be released immediately
  • We demand Community Control Now

Utah Against Police Brutality also showed in a Facebook live Saturday morning protestors chanting and marching down the street.

Governor Herbert deployed that National Guard to help with the “escalating situation in downtown Salt Lake City”. He said in a tweet “We condemn violence and looting… I once again call on all who are protesting to do so peacefully.”

Mayor Mendenhall announced an 8 p.m. curfew due to the protest turning violent.

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