Protesters in SLC call for more civilian oversight after officer-involved shootings

Posted at 10:14 PM, Jul 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-10 00:14:30-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- More than 100 people gathered outside the Salt Lake City Police station Saturday night to demand change after recent police shootings led to the deaths of two black men in two different states.

With chants like, “Black lives matter!” and “No justice, no peace!” protesters called for change and action Saturday evening.

“Two more black men who were complying with police, who were not committing any crimes, were murdered this week for absolutely no reason,” said rally emcee Hayven Jackson. “That is completely unacceptable.”

She’s referring to Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, who died this week after being shot by police. Many said their deaths were senseless and unjust.

“When does it stop? Where does it stop?” Protester Ryan Parker asked. “This is on the police, they have to take that initiative.”

The two deaths came just before five police officers died in Dallas at the hands of an anti-police sniper.

With all that’s gone on this week, Parker said it’s taken its toll on everyone.

“That’s the one thing I’ve noticed, is everyone from either the left or the right, police side, Black Lives Matter side: Everyone is emotionally tired,” Parker said. “That's what I've been taking from this entire week.”

Emotionally tired, but continuing to fight for what they believe needs to change.

“Until something happens, until there's a change, this will happen again,” he said.

Utah Against Police Brutality (UAPB), the group that organized the rally, said they’re now pushing for what they’re calling the Community Control Review Board in Salt Lake County.

“What we're trying to do is get a democratically voted council to investigate police,” UAPB Organizer Carly Haldeman said.

She said the board would, “have the ability to subpoena evidence and footage, and also investigate cops whenever there’s a shooting or encounter that's problematic.”

She and others at the rally said the current county-appointed Police Civilian Review Board is not enough.

“There will be continued protests until these killings stop," Jackson said. "There will be continued movements and demonstrations until these killings stop. Black lives matter, and we're not going away.”

Salt Lake City Police did not show a presence at the rally, and they told FOX 13 they treated this gathering like any other rally—only responding if needed.