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Protesters fight against police brutality after viral video shows officers hitting homeless man during arrest

Posted at 9:59 PM, Jul 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-16 10:25:21-04

PROVO, Utah — Protesters stood in Provo’s Pioneer Park Friday night, demanding justice for police brutality.

"This is a local issue," said Kaylee Reinitz, an organizer for the Party for Socialism and Liberation. "This is an issue that affects us here in Provo.”

A viral video filmed by Tom Moore showing Provo police officers hitting a man during an arrest has launched an investigation into use of force.

The video shows a homeless man, known by the name “Mogli,” suffering multiple blows from police on July 7 near Center Street and University Ave.

“These officers kept kind of jostling him and being really rough with him," said Moore. "He kept kind of pulling away from them, and they eventually took him to the ground. And with one kind of sitting on him, kneeling on his back, and the other one kind of kneeling on his like, waist or his lower legs area, he kept saying, like, 'I can't move,' like, 'That hurts.'"

When Moore saw what was happening, he said he knew he needed to pull out his phone and start recording.

“He kept yelling for someone to record the situation," said Moore. "As soon as I heard him say that, I was already pulling my phone out to record because I knew that he had been hurt by a car the previous day."

”It makes me feel great that the police are being held accountable," Moore added.

The Provo Police Department declined to speak with FOX 13 News, but in a statement Wednesday, the department wrote: "The Provo City Police Department is aware of a video that captured part of an arrest and use of force incident that is circulating social media. The Provo Police Department takes all uses of force seriously. Just as any use of force incident, this incident is being reviewed and investigated according to Provo Police policy."

“Something needs to change with the police," said Moore. "The way they treat people is not conducive to a good working relationship between the community, especially the unhoused community and the police.”

Provo’s Party for Socialism and Liberation is demanding the officers in the video be fired and charged with aggravated assault.

“We have been able to come out numerous times in the last few years to help support the people of Provo and defend our own rights as human beings," said Reinitz.

The Party for Socialism and Liberation is fighting for Provo to create a community review board to be added to the Provo Police Department’s review process.