SLC Dept. of Economic Development urges vigilance ‘in anticipation of potential demonstrations’ as Chauvin trial draws to end

Protesters in Salt Lake City vandalized and burned a police car on Saturday, May 30, 2020. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Patrick Benedict

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, April 1, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — The Salt Lake City Department of Economic Development is urging neighbors and businesses to be aware of suspicious activities that may be sparked by anger over the outcome of the Derek Chauvin trial in Minnesota.

Chauvin, a former police officer in Minneapolis, is on trial for the death of George Floyd, a citizen who died after he was detained by Chauvin, who cut off Floyd’s air supply by kneeling on his neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds.

To Our #SLC Neighbors and Business Community: It has been a trying few weeks in our country because of the pending outcome of the Derek Chauvin trial in Minnesota,” says a tweet from the Salt Lake City Department of Economic Development.

“In anticipation of potential demonstrations in #SaltLakeCity, we want you to be prepared for possible disruption of normal activities. We have learned a lot from the past year and out of an abundance of caution, please know that public safety officials will remain vigilant in keeping our community safe.”

Motorcyclist passes burning police car near the Salt Lake City Library, Saturday, May 30, 2020. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Patrick Benedict

It was Floyd’s death, on May 25 of last year, that sparked major protests and calls for an end to police brutality, especially that specifically targeting Black people who had committed no major crimes. Floyd was detained for allegedly passing a shop keeper a counterfeit bill, and ended up begging for his life the chance to breath before his ultimate death.

George Floyd. File photo: Facebook/George Floyd profile

Utah residents also participated in peaceful protests, chanting “Black lives matter” and anti-violence messages.  After several hours, a small percentage of those present turned violent and destructive.

Riot police were called out in Salt Lake City after instigators vandalized downtown businesses and government offices, and flipped and burned two cars, one of them an SLCPD patrol car. A downtown 7-Eleven was also damaged and looted.

Photo: Patrick Benedict/Gephardt Daily

It’s early signs of that kind of damage the Salt Lake City Department of Economic Development is asking the community to watch out for, it said in a series of tweets published Friday night.

Here are a few resources: Stay up-to-date by following @slcpd for any announcements,” the Department advised. “Call the SLC Police for non-emergency service requests at 801- 799-3000. Complete info here:slcpd.com/contact-us/.  Use SLC’s Mobile App As always, please call 911 in an emergency.”

Photo: Gephardt Daily/Patrick Benedict

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