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Hundreds gather in downtown SLC to support police, met with counter-protesters

Posted at 7:58 PM, Jun 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-21 16:57:23-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Two groups with conflicting messages held demonstrations in downtown Salt Lake City Saturday evening.

The group "Utah Business Revival," which was formed recently in response to COVID-19-related closures and restrictions, organized a "Blue Rally" at the Salt Lake City and County Building. The group's founder, Eric Moutsos, is a former SLC Police officer. He said the rally was to support law enforcement — in particular, the officers who responded to the chaotic downtown protests on May 30.

In a press release announcing the rally, Moutsos asked local police chiefs and sheriffs to join the demonstration. He also specifically requested SLCPD Chief Mike Brown and SLC Mayor Erin Mendenhall join as they had with previous demonstrations in recent weeks. It was unclear if any of these individuals showed up.

Those gathered to support police at the rally weren't alone, however — a group of counter-protesters holding signs such as "Defund the Police" and "Black Lives Matter" were also present. A march through SLC was planned to begin at 5 p.m., the same time as the pro-police rally, also at the City/County building.

Participants in both groups interacted in a mostly peaceful manner with individuals discussing the purpose behind their demonstrations. The conversations did become heated at some points.

One incident did create a small stir when two counter-protesters walked through the "blue rally" and flipped people off. It was resolved and led to a discussion between participants of both sides.