Utah National Guard activated by order of Gov. Gary Herbert in response to downtown riot

Utah National Guard activated by order of Gov. Gary Herbert in response to downtown riot (Photo: UNG)

(KUTV) - Approximately 200 Utah National Guard members were activated to assist local law enforcement with Saturday's protest turned violent riot in downtown Salt Lake City.

The Guard deployed under the order of Gov. Gary R. Herbert in response to violence, looting, to deter criminal activity and protect life and property.

UNG Brig. Gen. Michael J. Turley, adjutant general, said in a prepared statement:

We have activated Soldiers and Airmen from the Utah National Guard to support local law enforcement to preserve life and protect property. We are trained to provide support to civil authorities during various types of emergencies. We are fellow citizens; we are your neighbors; we support our law enforcement partners and fellow Utahns.

The Guard that provided the service comprised of 30 members of the Utah Air National Guard's 151st Security Forces Squadron and approximately 150 members of the Utah Army National Guard's Reaction Force. The Guard has been fully involved at the city and state levels in the planning and enforcement of a mandatory city-wide curfew from the hours of 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., Saturday through Monday.

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In a press conference, Salt Lake City Chief Mike Brown said two officers were hospitalized from injuries sustained during the riot and six arrests had been made as of 9 p.m. An estimated 2,000 people participated in the protest that culminated with a Public Service Alert at 9:15 p.m.

The Guard said in a press release that it stands ready to support Utah's governor in dealing with any crisis with a wide array of unique capabilities, such as law enforcement, civil support, and medical professionals trained to work with civilian law enforcement agencies and emergency responders.