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‘Bow and arrow man” sentenced for threatening people during violent SLC protest

(Brandon McCormick after he was beaten for pointing a bow and arrow during the protest. Credit: Laura Seitz, KSL file)

SALT LAKE CITY – The man who became known as “the bow and arrow man” during the violent protests in downtown Salt Lake City learns his fate.  He’s sentenced to a year in the Salt Lake County Jail after pleading guilty to possessing a dangerous weapon and aggravated assault.

Brandon McCormick, 58, was caught on video raising his bow at people near the Downtown Salt Lake City Library on May 30.  He never fired at anyone, but a swarm of people surrounded him, beat him and set his car on fire.  Investigators say they recovered a crossbow from the ashes of his car.

Prosecutor Alex Stoedter said McCormick made the claim that he went downtown to protect the city and to talk with protestors.  However, he said McCormick’s actions don’t back that claim.

“He made that decision to go further into the crowd and potentially harm other individuals,” he said.

According to Stoedter, McCormick made a series of bad decisions, not just one.  He said McCormick brought multiple weapons to a violent protest, and even after he was confronted, McCormick decided to escalate things.

“He pulled out a large knife.  He threatened to stab people.  He repeatedly yelled the ‘n’ word,” Stoedter said.  “I don’t know why he thinks that’s ‘being a good spokesperson,’ but it’s clearly not.”

During the sentencing, McCormick told the judge he doesn’t remember pointing the bow and arrow at anyone, claiming he had already been attacked by then and blacked out.  He also claimed he was under the false impression he was allowed to have that weapon, and that he wouldn’t have had it if he knew otherwise.

McCormick said, “I had it for over a year because I had never used it, but I didn’t know I couldn’t have it.”

He also addressed the racist comments he made during the protest and admits he used to be a racist person.  He says he wasn’t racist until he went to prison in California.

“I was forced to be racist because the California system is extremely racist, but I walked away from that life,” he said.

McCormick told the judge he had been working on his past behavior and trying to control his anger.  However, he also claimed he fell back into heavy alcohol use, and that the person he is trying to become isn’t really the person seen on the news.

He said, “I don’t have many years left.  I don’t want to spend the last years in prison.  I want to continue doing what I was doing and of course my parents would like to see me clean my life up.”

Prosecutors say a road-rage incident in Taylorsville involving McCormick was also racially motivated, as he was heard using racial slurs.

 

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