SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, July 9, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Gov. Gary Herbert has declared a state of emergency after protesters damaged and defaced the downtown Salt Lake County District Attorney’s office Thursday evening to protest the ruling earlier in the day on the shooting of Bernardo Palacios-Carbajal by police.
District Attorney Sim Gill ruled that the May 23 fatal shooting of Palacios-Carbajal, 22, was justified, and the involved officers will not face charges.
Between 100 and 200 protesters gathered at the District Attorney’s office at 35 E. 500 South at 6 p.m., sticking dozens of signs on the doors, bearing messages including “Justice for Bernardo” and “Sim Gill, their blood is on your hands.”
The protesters left red hand prints and threw red paint, symbolizing blood, onto the sign in front of the office and the street, also writing “F— your police department” in paint on the road. One protester wrote in large chalk letters on the street in front of the office: “Respect existence or expect resistance.” Another climbed a ladder to post “Justice for Bernardo” signs above the windows of the building.
Just before 8 p.m., reports from the scene indicated protesters returned to the DA’s office and broke three windows.
Officers in riot gear with shields broke the protesters into two groups in an attempt to disperse them, while a Utah DPS helicopter hovered overhead. One officer has been hospitalized as a result of the protest, and two people were arrested.
The executive order issued by Herbert says: “Protests in response to the decision of the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office have resulted in civil unrest and threaten to cause bodily injury and destruction of private and public property.”
In addition, the order states: “Recent protests have turned violent and the civil unrest has resulted in bodily injury and destruction of private and public property, including extensive defacement of the Utah State Capitol building.”
The executive order closes the Capitol building and grounds to all individuals other than officers and employees of the Utah Executive Branch, the Utah Legislature and the Utah Judiciary.
The order also allows assistance from state government to political subdivisions as needed and coordinated by the Utah Department of Public Safety and other state agencies as necessary.
The order is effective immediately and will remain in effect until July 13 at 11:59 p.m. unless lawfully modified, amended, rescinded or superseded.
To view the full order, click here.