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AM News Brief: Costs Of Protest Damage, Navajo Casinos To Reopen & Police And Military Equipment

Photo of broken military vehicle window.
Kelsie Moore for KUER
According to the latest federal numbers, Utah law enforcement has more than $10.7 million worth of military equipment under its control. This story and more in the Wednesday morning news brief.

Wednesday morning, June 10, 2020

Northern Utah

City Council Hears Public On “Defunding” Police

The Salt Lake City Council will weigh redirecting some of its police budget to community services. Several council members have said they are open to discussing how to quote-unquote "defund" the police department incrementally. During a meeting Tuesday the council said it would review the police budget and potential reform efforts, though Council Chair Chris Wharton said they likely won't take any major steps this year because they have just three weeks to finalize its 2020-21 budget. He told the Salt Lake Tribune the council has received more than 2000 comments about eliminating racism and defunding the force. — Associated Press

The Cost Of Protest Damages

Salt Lake City will have to spend an estimated $335,000 to repair windows to city buildings damaged in protests according to city officials. On May 30, thousands of people took to downtown streets to march against police brutality and racial injustice. More than 40 windows at the public safety and justice courts buildings and other locations were damaged. And officials say graffiti removal will cost Salt Lake about $24,000 in overtime costs for crews who helped clean up. — Ross Terrell


Police And Military Equipment 

The ongoing protests over police brutality is highlighting another ongoing issue: The militarization of police departments. This movement really gained steam in the 1960s after the Watts riots in Los Angeles and in the 90s with a new program that allowed police departments to acquire surplus military equipment from the Department of Defense. According to the latest federal numbers, Utah law enforcement has more than $10.7 million worth of military equipment under its control. — Noah Glick, Mountain West News Bureau

Another 237 COVID Cases

The Utah Department of Health recorded another 237 cases of COVID-19 Tuesday. That represents a nearly 2% increase over Monday, for a total 12,559 positives. Thirteen additional Utahns were hospitalized, bringing the current count of hospitalizations to 126. And, three deaths were announced yesterday, for a total 127. They were all men and came from Davis, Salt Lake and Utah counties. Two were long-term care residents. — Diane Maggipinto

Follow KUER’s coverage of the coronavirus in Utah.


Navajo Casinos Set To Reopen

Casinos on the Navajo Nation are set to reopen July 5. The four casinos are located in Arizona and New Mexico and will operate at 50% capacity according to the Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise. People will be required to use hand sanitizer and have their temperatures taken with an infrared thermometer before entering. The casinos, which generate revenue for the Navajo Nation, have been closed since March 17. — Kate Groetzinger, Bluff

Twenty Percent Of Navajo Nation Tested

The Navajo Department of Health said they have tested nearly 20% of the Navajo Nation’s population — more than 40,000 people. The department recorded an additional 40 cases Tuesday along with eighth deaths. Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said the low case count yesterday is a good sign, but implored residents to remain diligent, stay home and follow a public health order that mandates wearing masks in public. — Diane Maggipinto

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