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'The worst of the worst': Bodycam footage of violent protest released, SLCPD searches for suspects

Posted at 10:20 PM, Jul 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-08 00:20:07-04

SALT LAKE CITY – Salt Lake City Police have released new body camera footage from a late May protest that turned violent and are in search of suspects wanted for assaulting officers.

The footage released is from the May 30 protest against police brutality and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, which turned violent and led to destruction in the downtown area.

In the three-minute video, civilians can be seen kicking, pushing and punching officers while yelling and throwing a variety of things at the police line, including water bottles, rocks, baseball bats, car parts and more.

“People acted in ways they probably wouldn’t normally act,” said SLCPD Detective Greg Wilking.

“This is really highlighting those people that did serious bodily injury to our officers, that put lives in danger,” said Wilking.

A number of clips highlight officers who took the brunt of the violence. According to SLCPD, a number of officers were injured and continued to stand on the front lines for hours, instead of seeking medical care.

“Some of the worst ones were broken bones in a hand from one of our officers,” Wilking said. “Another officer was concussed from a rock to the head… just a lot of stuff happening, a very dynamic situation, a lot of projectiles being thrown, pretty scary situation.”

Wilking said he believed “a lot of restraint” was used by their officers.

“Their professionalism, their training kicked in. They were up there on the front lines, right in the thick of it, and they conducted themselves, by and large, in a manner that is pretty incredible given the circumstances they were dealing with," he said.

Since that day, SLCPD has arrested more than 20 people who were involved. However, there are currently searching for four more, shown in various scenes in the newly released footage.

All four of the protesters (pictured below), are featured in the footage and wanted for assault.

Police said the man in tie dye threw a rock that broke an officer’s hand.

The next, a man with a black shirt draped around his neck, is wanted for assault after throwing car parts at officers.

The third, a man in a white t-shirt, can be seen breaking through the crowd to pepper spray police.

And finally, a man with a large build wearing a blue hoodie and dark bandana as a mask is wanted for assault after allegedly throwing a rock that gave an officer a concussion.

“We’re taking probably the worst of the worst [protesters] in these situations and highlighting those,” Wilking said.

Wilking said the video is hard to watch and he hopes this type of violence will not happen again.

“That’s a tough thing to take in, knowing those people and knowing they’re out there just trying to do a job, trying to keep people safe, trying to maintain that sense of order so we can all go about our lives in a constructive way… and then watching people just hate because of the uniform that we’re wearing, really difficult,” Wilking said.

Police said they have only “scratched the surface” in terms of arrests stemming from the day of the violent protest.

SLCPD said the public can expect to see information on another 10 to 15 individuals in the coming days, and even more stemming from the looting that took place simultaneously at 7-Eleven and City Creek Mall.

If you have information on the four protesters who were mentioned above, call SLCPD.