SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, May 31, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown addressed two controversial moments of the Saturday protest downtown by way of a video message Sunday afternoon.
“I have some updates regarding two of the most prominent circumstances from yesterday’s protest,” Brown said. “First, we learned that the man with the bow and arrow was pulled from the crowd by some public order officers as he was being assaulted. The officers first concern was life safety. It was only later, through the media inquiries and shared footage, that we were able to identify him and the series of events that preceded. If you were a witness to this incident please file a report with us. We know who he is and we are looking to screen charges. Your statements would be extremely helpful.
“Now, I’d like to directly address the incident where an elderly gentlemen with a cane was knocked down at the library. We have spent hours searching through the footage to identify the officer involved. We know who it is, and we have begun the investigation. I have seen the video and it was inappropriate. We will follow our procedure, which includes an internal affairs investigation, as well as a review by the civilian review board. They will in turn make a recommendation to me upon completion. I want to say, this is not what I would expect from Salt Lake City PD.
“My expectations are that if people are exercising their first amendment rights, we give them the space to do so peacefully. I have spoken to this gentleman to express my concern for his well-being and to apologize to him personally. It was hard for me to watch what happened and I know it was even harder for him to experience it.
“Overwhelmingly, I saw exemplary professionalism, and thank all the officers for the hours upon hours of standing in the sweltering heat in all their protective gear. They handled a terrible situation with courage and restraint. I am proud of this, and them.
“I am relieved there were no fatalities, given the situation. My heart aches for the pain caused and insecure feelings we have experienced over the past 24 hours here in Salt Lake City. We understand that this insecure feeling pales in comparison to the original reason for the protest. We reiterate our commitment to stamping out systemic racism. I love Salt Lake City, and the outpouring of support from our community has been staggering. Thank you so much.”
Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall also addressed the residents of Salt Lake City Sunday morning.