Salt Lake City’s police chief called for peace Friday after five police officers were shot and killed in Dallas. Meanwhile, a protest is scheduled to proceed as planned on Saturday at police headquarters.
Chief Mike Brown told KUER that violence will not solve the ongoing issues between police and civilians. He echoed the words of his friend and colleague Dallas Police chief David Brown.
“When he spoke this morning and said look, there’s got to be a better way, this has to stop, that’s the message I’d like to echo and foot stomp here in Salt Lake City. There is a better way,” Brown said.
Demonstrators are still planning to hold a previously scheduled rally Saturday evening at the Salt Lake City Public Safety Building. The event was organized in the aftermath of two officer-involved shooting deaths of two black men earlier this week. Hayven Jackson is an organizer with Utah Against Police Brutality.
“This rally is meant to be a peaceful rally. It will not be violent. What happened in Dallas will not happen here,” Jackson said. “The point of this rally is to call out police injustice. It’s about getting the message out that black lives matter and that police need to stop killing black people.”
“We will monitor it from afar,” said Chief Brown. “There is really no reason to stand as an occupying force to watch these folks. They’re going to demonstrate on our police plaza, and that is what it’s specifically for. That is why they have that, and so I hope they can go there and express their feelings and concerns, but what I really hope is that someday in the future, we sit down and talk about those issues.”
Chief Brown says tensions are high and awareness is heightened, but the department will staff the upcoming rally as they would any other event of its kind.