Park City police joined Salt Lake agency at anti-police violence demonstrations
As the situation in Salt Lake City deteriorated last weekend amid widespread demonstrations prompted by the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis, the Park City Police Department received a statewide call from law enforcement commanders in Salt Lake City for reinforcements.
Police Chief Wade Carpenter responded, leading four other officers from the Park City agency to Salt Lake City. The Park City contingent joined others from the Wasatch Back in assisting in Salt Lake City. The Park City officers, under the direction of law enforcement in Salt Lake City, were stationed within two to four blocks of the Public Safety Building close to downtown. They spent much of Sunday reinforcing the police in Salt Lake City.
The command assigned Carpenter and the others from Park City to enforce a curfew. But he also needed to order demonstrators to leave various scenes. The police chief said he encountered a range of people on the streets. Most of the people were respectful to the police, but there were others who “were very antagonistic toward law enforcement.”
Carpenter said people who he described as “outside agitators” caused the problems in Salt Lake City. He said they turned the demonstrations into anti-police gatherings rather than gatherings based on the death of Floyd.
“A lot of them didn’t truly understand why they were there,” Carpenter said.
The chief and the Park City officers wore tactical bulletproof vests, which are worn on regular shifts as well. They brought riot gear but did not wear that gear, he said. The Park City officers did not arrest anyone and did not use force.
Carpenter said Salt Lake City people he spoke to were unhappy with what was occurring with the demonstrations.
“This is heartbreaking to me. This is not what this community is about,” Carpenter said as he described the sentiments expressed to him by Salt Lake City residents.
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