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Live Mic: Feds to come after those behind downtown SLC violence

Police car set ablaze on 400 South 200 East on Saturday, May 30th. Picture taken by KSL Newsradio's Paul Nelson.

SALT LAKE CITY — The feds are responding after what started as a peaceful protest in downtown Salt Lake City grew into violence and property damage over the weekend. 

John Huber, U.S. Attorney for Utah,  joins Lee Lonsberry on Live Mic to discuss how the federal Joint Terrorism Task Force will bring to justice the criminals behind the protest-turned-frenzy.

Who burned that cop car?

“Did you witness federal crimes being committed?” Lee asked. 

“Absolutely. There were a number of federal crimes committed. And using the Joint Terrorism Task Force, which is a longstanding, successful unit here in the state of Utah, we’re investigating those crimes,” Huber said.

He said at the top of the crime list is burning the police cruiser. 

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“Have you identified anyone who has travelled across state lines to engage in this kind of behavior here?” Lee asked.

“We do see a handful of people who are not from Utah. We’re investigating those cases,” Huber said.

He added that if the agitators are using “interstate facilities,” such as phones, to coordinate riots, then that triggers federal jurisdiction.

Punishment awaits

“What are the potential consequences facing those engaged in the criminal activity you described today?” Lee asked.

“If we can bring a viable case against the perpetrators who set that [police] car ablaze, they face a minimum mandatory federal prison term of five years. That’s the starting bidding. We’re very serious about that,” Huber said.

Huber asked those who were downtown Saturday peacefully protesting to aid law enforcement by identifying the hooligans behind the violence and destruction.

“What message do you have for those who have no desire to aid law enforcement?” Lee asked.

“Yeah, my message to them is you cannot straddle those two worlds,” Huber said. “Your two feet need to be firmly planted on the side of law and order — that’s what brings you the quality of life we enjoy as Americans.

“There is nothing that can justify or excuse the unlawful behavior we saw on Saturday afternoon and evening in Salt Lake City,” Huber said.

He added that most of the criminal cases arising from the violence in downtown Salt Lake City will reside not with the feds but in state courts.


Live Mic with Lee Lonsberry can be heard weekdays from 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app.