Liberty Park protest against police brutality turns into march on Salt Lake City streets

About 50 people marched in a protest against police brutality near Liberty Park in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023. Photo: Salt Lake City Police Department

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Jan. 28, 2023 (Gephardt Daily) — About 50 people marched along Salt Lake City streets near Liberty Park on Saturday afternoon to protest the killing of Tyre Nichols by five Memphis police officers.

Salt Lake City officers provided impromptu traffic control as an organized protest against police brutality migrated from Liberty Park to neighboring streets before returning to the park.

Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown tweeted his thanks to officers “who planned for and assisted with this event.”

The talent, caliber and professionalism of our @slcpd officers was on full display today. I thank our officers for their hard work at keeping everyone safe while supporting free speech events,” Brown said.

Salt Lake City police previously issued a statement condemning the five fired officers charged with beating Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man, during a Jan. 7 traffic stop in Memphis, Tennessee.

Nichols died in the hospital three days after the beating that family members say left him with sustained kidney failure and brain swelling. Memphis police released body-cam video Friday that showed Nichols calling for his mother’s help repeatedly as officers beat him.

“We strongly denounce the inexcusable conduct of the five people involved in the death of Tyre Nichols,” the SLCPD statement said in part. “Their actions are unbecoming of police officers; they do not represent the honorable and courageous women and men who make up law enforcement throughout our country and Salt Lake City.”

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall also issued a statement on social media Friday on Nichols’ murder.

“The horrific murder of Tyre Nichols and the actions of five Memphis police officers were an unconscionable betrayal of public trust and basic humanity. I’m heartbroken for Nichols’ family and the retraumatization this brutality brings to families across the country,” Mendenhall said.

Local members of the Party for Socialism and Liberation hosted the protest Saturday afternoon on the north side of Liberty Park. It was one of several weekend events organized by the party.

“Only the people can put an end to the regime of police terror that Black America is subjected to,” the PSA said in a statement calling for protests nationwide. “We need to demonstrate in huge numbers to demand justice.”


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