SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Gary Herbert extended his state of emergency declaration on Friday afternoon, closing the Utah State Capitol and the office of the Salt Lake County District Attorney to the public through Wednesday. The Governor justified the emergency due to “civil unrest” after planned protests in downtown Salt Lake City turned violent on Thursday night.
In the meantime, the Deseret News reports that threats were made against Salt Lake City police officers, Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall, and the Salt Lake County District Attorney, Sim Gill.
The Deseret News reports that “those who have received threats are taking extensive precautions which include around-the-clock protection as well as leaving the city.
While Salt Lake City police reported up to 200 people were involved in the protest on Thursday night, fewer were involved in painting the roadway at 500 South and 35 East and breaking windows at the office of the district attorney.
In a statement sent to KSL Newsradio, Salt Lake City police said they removed and arrested those protesters that were “the most egregious offenders.”
They included Ryan Moore, age 39; Mercedes McKinley, age 32; Emmanuel Hill, age 21; and Sofia Alcala, age 18. Moore and McKinley were arrested for investigation into misdemeanor charges of failure to disperse and assault on a police officer. Hill and Alcala were arrested and are being investigated for felony riot and criminal mischief.
According to Salt Lake City police, the cost to repair five broken windows and to remove paint from the roadway will range between $100,000 and $200,000.
By Friday morning, much of the paint had been removed from the area around the DA’s office.
Due to the extent of the damage, police chief Mike Brown said that they will “no longer tolerate vandalism, violence, or using cars to block roads.”
He reiterated, however, that his officers will assist in traffic control to “support peaceful protesters and remind the community that it is incumbent upon each person to respect the first amendment rights to peaceably assemble.
The protest on Thursday was in reaction to prosecutor Sim Gill’s announcement that he would not charge the officers involved in the police shooting that resulted in the death of Palacios-Carbajal.
Shortly after the announcement, the family members of Palacios-Carbajal said that they plan to file a civil lawsuit.