SALT LAKE CITY – Following a peaceful protest that turned violent and led to destruction in downtown Salt Lake City, the Utah Chapter of Black Lives Matter is speaking out, saying they did not have any involvement.
During what started as a peaceful protest Saturday in downtown Salt Lake City, many participants shouted "black lives matter!" as they paraded cars and marched down city streets. However, in the wake of events that turned violent and led to destruction, the group "Black Lives Matter Utah" said they had nothing to do with the events that took place Saturday.
“Black Lives Matter Utah did not hold a protest yesterday. We did not hold or plan a protest yesterday. The narrative around this is disturbing,” said BLM Utah founder Lex Scott in a press conference Sunday evening.
Scott continued, saying the group’s feelings toward the unrest was "multi-faceted."
“We have seen the damage in Salt Lake City. We have heard people blaming us for that damage. We have not seen people care about black lives as much as they care about damage to buildings. You can replace a building — you can never bring back George Floyd,” Scott continued as she listed off those who had died at the hands of police brutality.
“On the other hand, we saw a crowd of thousands of people yesterday — we have not seen those thousands of people attend our police reform meetings,” Scott said.
“If your activism only consists of destruction and not building, that is not activism,” Scott continued. “That is also not what this movement is about. This movement, the Black Lives Matter movement, has never been about inciting violence and destroying property -- this movement has always been about fighting against police violence and fighting for black lives. And when we say 'black lives matter,' we are not saying our lives matter more or the most — we are saying that our lives matter because they do."
Scott encouraged those who want to help cultivate change to join them in their efforts to fight for reform. More information on their efforts can be found here.
The Saturday protest was led by a group called Utah Against Police Brutality. Since the protests, looting and riots, they have released this statement in response: