COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah — A counterprotester has been charged with assault for allegedly pepper-spraying a citizen reporter in the face at a Black Lives Matter protest in Cottonwood Heights in August, according to a report from The Salt Lake Tribune.
Landon Daniel Buttars, 21, of South Weber, was charged in 3rd District Court with assault, a class-A misdemeanor.
The alleged assault happened as members of Black Lives Matter protested how police treated demonstrators at an earlier event to honor Zane James, a 19-year-old suspected of armed robbery who was killed by police in 2018. The BLM protesters who gathered outside Cottonwood Heights City Hall on Aug. 7 were faced by a group of counterprotesters — including members and supporters of the Utah Citizens' Alarm group, many of whom were armed and wearing tactical gear.
At the end of the protest, Buttars sprayed a citizen reporter with Salt City News in the face with what witnesses said was pepper spray, a probable cause statement alleged. “Several protesters pointed to” Buttars as the person who used the pepper spray, it said.