COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah – The Cottonwood Heights City Council is discussing police policy and procedures after receiving hundreds of community comments regarding a Sunday protest that ended in the arrest of eight.
In a virtual meeting Tuesday night, council manager Tim Tingey said the council had received hundreds of calls and emails since Sunday’s incident.
Community concerns, stemming from a Sunday protest which ended in physical altercations between officers and protesters, police use of pepper spray and tasers, and eight arrests.
The city said the first thing that is being done is in regard to the criminal allegations – deciding if the charges those people faced were appropriate and if more need to be filed.
Meanwhile, Cottonwood Heights Police will be conducting an internal investigation. There will also be a separate investigation, to be completed by an independent agency. Once those investigations are complete it will go to the District Attorney’s office for the state’s review – all of which could take months.
After adding ‘police policy’ to the council’s docket for their Tuesday meeting, more than a hundred people signed up for public comment.
“It’s completely unacceptable to treat other humans like this, whether you agree with what they’re protesting or not. I don’t feel safe here; my children don’t feel safe here,” one woman said during the session.
“I arrived to a scene of chaos on Sunday, just up from my house, to witness an angry mob shouting vile language and members of that mob physically attacking police officers, was not what I want in my neighborhood,” another resident commented.
Public comment ended after about an hour and a half. However, Mayor Mike Peterson said the discussion of police and policy reform isn’t over.
Mayor Peterson said the council already has a number of items that will be discussed during the next council meeting, including: body cameras, hiring, SWAT protocol, civilian review boards, social media policies and drug testing. That list is subject to change prior to the next meeting.
Written comments may be submitted to the council via email to firstname.lastname@example.org