SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, July 13, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Chris Burbank knows what it’s like to run a cop shop in turbulent times.
As Salt Lake City’s chief of police from 2006 to 2015, he dealt with and defused a steady stream of contentious issues — from the intense public outcry over a questionable investigation into the disappearance and death of a 5-year-old girl, to the Trolley Square massacre, which killed five and wounded six.
There was the occupation of Pioneer Park by hundreds of self-described anarchists who vowed to fight rather than cede control of their makeshift camp which they occupied for days.
And then, there were the 15 officer-involved shootings, all of them ruled justified.
While these incidents triggered protests and public demonstrations, none of them turned violent to any significant degree — something Burbank believes didn’t happen by accident.
In a wide-ranging interview with Bill Gephardt, owner of Gephardt Daily, the former Utah lawman, now a Vice President for the nationally renowned Center for Policing Equity, provides a pointed assessment of America’s law enforcement culture and the institutional challenges being faced by police in Salt Lake City and across the country.
To hear Burbank’s unvarnished assessment of SLCPD’s response to the recent unrest and the kind of changes he believes Utah law enforcement needs to embrace to gain the trust of all its citizens, please click on the video player above.