COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah — Dueling protests took place outside of the Cottonwood Heights City Hall building Monday following a Sunday night protest that led to the arrest of nine.
Looking down 2300 East Monday night, protesters took over each side of the street.
Both groups appeared in response to a protest that happened near Mill Hollow Park in Cottonwood Heights Sunday, which led to physical confrontations between officers and protesters, officers' use of pepper spray and Tasers, and the arrest of nine protesters.
On the far side of the street, closest to the City Hall building, protesters lined the sidewalks holding American flags, many of whom were open carrying, standing in support of the actions made by Cottonwood Heights Police the night prior.
“We have a second amendment right to bear arms, so we’re exercising our rights just as much as they’re exercising theirs,” said Casey Robertson, founder and president of Utah Citizens’ Alarm. “People are hurting in the community right now, but there’s a proper way to make change and that’s at the polls, that’s electing the right officials that are going to represent your beliefs.”
Simultaneously, a separate group of protesters took over the adjacent sidewalk, protesting the use of force and tactics officers used to break up the crowd Sunday.
“[The counter protest] thinking 'Back the Blue' is a movement when it’s not — it’s a job. I’m black 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said Jacarri Kelley, president of the Northern Utah chapter of Black Lives Matter.
“They’re trying to intimidate their community and people of color for what? What is this doing for you?” Jacarri continued. “The police don’t need protection — they’re police.”
Residents from the neighborhood also trickled down to ‘watch’ after having seen the demonstration Sunday.
When the protesters standing in support of police arrived (a few hours prior to the other group), Cottonwood Heights Police made their rounds, handing out pieces of paper including protest practices and state laws.
Cottonwood Heights Police said they hand out the papers when they have time to prepare them. They said they did not have time to prepare them on Sunday.
The protesters speaking out against police brutality cleared out around 9:30 p.m.