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SLCPD open investigation into violent protest, release some body cam footage

(Photo: Paul Nelson, Twitter)

SALT LAKE CITY – Police are sifting through over 100 body camera videos taken by officers during Tuesday’s violent protest of the inland port.

One of the videos was shown to reporters Thursday, and it shows one officer on the sixth floor of the Salt Lake Chamber building telling protesters that they were not allowed to be inside the privately owned building, despite the group’s claims otherwise.

The officer is heard saying, “Everybody’s gone that wants to be gone?  Everyone here wants to go to jail?”  The crowd stayed put, continuing to sing and chant “abort the port.”

Police Chief Mike Brown says there was a much larger crowd downstairs.

“We had about 40 to 50 protesters on the sixth floor, over 100 in the lobby and some of top of the building itself,” Brown says.

Overall, Brown says there were 75 officers sent to the protest and 199 body camera videos have been downloaded, adding that six officers were assaulted.

He says, “Our officers were spit on, scratched, kicked, punched and had bottles and different items thrown at them.”

Officers are still trying to track down anyone who may have been violent during the protest.  Plus, Brown says he doesn’t know the identity of the person who reportedly threw punches at a KUTV photographer.

“We’re not going to allow anyone to assault members of our community, members of the media or our law enforcement officers,” Brown says.

Police will also be looking at their own behavior.

“We’ve also initiated an internal affairs audit to look at the actions of our officers,” according to Brown.