May 31, 2020
Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson Issues Statement on Salt Lake City Riot
Chloe Morroni -
Salt Lake City, UT - Last evening was a very difficult time for our community. I share the deep anger felt for the loss of George Floyd’s life in a deliberate act of violence. I am saddened that we continue to see instances where crime is committed by law enforcement at the expense of people of color. I am proud that Salt Lake City's officers and those who assisted last night showed restraint and that while property damage is extensive there seems to be limited personal injury due to the riot.
Freedom of expression is one of the most fundamental rights in a free society. Voices long ignored, have every right to be heard. But it is my sincere hope that protesters will find peaceful and civil means to express themselves. As yesterday's protest turned to violence, I was humbled by the courage of many elected officials and community leaders of color, several who represent Salt Lake City. These leaders stood together to share their unique perspective as champions for justice in our community. Our only African American State Representative, Sandra Hollins emphasized that the protesters efforts to share opposition to systemic racism was overshadowed by the violence.
As the County Mayor, I look forward to embracing the message of these leaders and, in partnerships, expanding the dialogue in our community. I will offer my Council of Diversity Affairs as a resource to support conversations surrounding our criminal justice system and policing.
I also will continue my strong partnership with Sheriff Rosie Rivera, who I coordinated with throughout the night, and who also showed concern for all officers on the scene but for the protesters as well. We will regroup to ensure that the Unified Police Department and the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office continue to focus on de-escalation and employees receive robust training on racial bias.
As Salt Lake County Mayor, I am committed to the on-going work towards justice and opportunity and will remain committed to a County where safety and prosperity are paramount.