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Dave & Dujanovic: When protesters turn into a violent mob

FILE - In this Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021 file photo, Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier at the Capitol in Washington. Right-wing extremism has previously mostly played out in isolated pockets of America or in smaller cities. In contrast, the deadly attack by rioters on the U.S. Capitol targeted the very heart of government. It brought together members of disparate groups, creating the opportunity for extremists to establish links with each other. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

SALT LAKE CITY — A group of people gather to protest an injustice but something happens, and things turn ugly and violent – and mob mentality kicks in. What happened? 

Longtime Salt Lake City attorney Greg Skordas joined Dave Noriega and Debbie Dujanovic to break down mob mentality and what legal actions rioters may face. 

As the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump continued, new video evidence in the trial last week revealed how close a trio of politicians were to being hurt or killed.

Jan. 6: Insurrection at the US Capitol

Rioters in Washington, D.C., smashed windows and climbed through broken glass to find House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

This man calls out for her.


“It is straight out of a horror film,” Dave said.

The mob also stalked the vice president and chanted “Hang Mike Pence” over and over.

Another video shows Utah Sen. Mitt Romney in a Capitol hallway unknowingly walking in the direction of the advancing mob, but then Capitol Police Officer Goodman steps into the frame and gestures for Romney to turn around.

Romney later tells reporters he had no idea he was that close to the rioters.

“I was very fortunate indeed that Officer Goodman was there to get me in the right direction,” he said.

From protest to mob violence

On May 25, George Floyd, 46, a Black man, died in Minneapolis while a white police officer knelt on Floyd’s neck for about 9 1/2 minutes after he was handcuffed and lying face down.

Skordas likened the mob violence in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6 to the protest May 30 in downtown Salt Lake City over the death of Floyd, which started peaceably but turned violent.

“. . . Somebody starts acting out. Somebody starts inciting the group. Somebody starts trying to push them to do something that I think 90 percent of these people weren’t otherwise ready to do. And the next thing you know in Salt Lake City we’re turning over cars. We’re burning police cars,” Skordas said. “. . . At one point it becomes the violent insurrection and at that turning point is when you have criminal conduct and that’s when you have people that should and will ultimately be charged.”

Targeting politicians

“What’s the punishment for attacking a political leader. Does it change at all if it is a House speaker or a sitting senator?” Dave asked.

“If you hurt someone who happens to be a public figure, that’s not necessarily an increased crime,” Skordas said. “But if hurt somebody because they’re a public figure, then, we have enhanced penalties for that.”

Debbie brought the conversion about a group of protesters taking a violent turn back into focus.

“Let’s remember that it is President Trump [who’s] on trial in this instance. It’s going to be up to her House impeachment managers to prove before the jury, which is the senators, that that President Trump was ultimately responsible for creating and inciting this level of violence,” Debbie said.


Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, a.s well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play. 

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