UPDATE (Saturday at 8:30 p.m.) – Mayor Erin Mendenhall issued a local emergency proclamation regarding the curfew that is now in effect. The formal public statement reiterates what state leaders said earlier today: go home and stay home until Monday morning at 6 a.m. An emergency cellular message was sent to residents about the proclamation.
“The safe space we offered for today’s protest is no longer safe for anybody,” Mayor Mendenhall said. “Please, if you are on Salt Lake City’s streets right now and do not meet those exceptions, go home.”
SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) – Leaders from Salt Lake City and Utah called for citizens to de-escalate violence in Salt Lake City and announced they will enforce a curfew from 8 p.m. Saturday through Monday morning, or longer if necessary.
Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall announced the curfew, that was then backed up by Gov. Gary Herbert and Salt Lake City Police Department Chief Mike Brown. The announcement came at approximately 6:30 p.m., 90 minutes before the curfew was to be enforced with the announced help of the Utah National Guard.
From 8 p.m. today until 6 a.m. Monday morning. People will not be allowed in public space, with some exceptions.
Mendenhall said the curfew enforcement would allow the exceptions of:
- Law enforcement and other first responders
- News media
- People traveling to work
- People obtaining food
- Those caring for family members or animals
- Those fleeing for safety
- Those traveling to airports
Protests across the nation broke out this week after video evidence showed George Floyd dying while in police custody on Monday. The first protest started in Minneapolis where the black man was killed. National outrage over police brutality soon followed through the states. Utah against Police Brutality organized the original protest planned for Saturday at 11 a.m. in Salt Lake City. The event was suppose to be a peaceful, car-only, assembly before civil unrest broke out with the National Guard called in.
Salt Lake City Police Department Chief Mike Brown said the curfew will be enforced, starting at 8 p.m.
"Today has been a very hard day. We want to thank those who came to peacefully protest. This is uncalled for, it doesn't further the message. We will be enacting the curfew. We intend to be on the street. We will enforce the laws and this curfew," Brown said. "We will be enforcing this curfew. Make no mistake, we will prosecute those who are committing these crimes."
"Stop destroying our city," Mendenhall said. She also called President Trump's tweet that "When the looting starts, the shooting starts" racist and uncalled for.
Reverand France Davis also spoke. He has been a black religious leader in Salt Lake for decades and marched with Martin Luther King in the civil rights era.
"It's ok to be frustrated, its ok to be angry but the expressions of our anger have to be in non-violent ways," he said.
Gov. Gary Herbert said 13 police agencies are supporting Salt Lake PD and said 200 members of the Utah National Guard will also be present.