SLC PROTEST

SLC Police Association Pushes Back On Mayor’s Order

Aug 10, 2020, 11:41 PM | Updated: 11:52 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Salt Lake Police Association is pushing back on Mayor Erin Mendenhall’s executive order issued one week ago that implements seven reforms at the Salt Lake City Police Department.

“The phrase ‘protect and serve’ is not trite or cliché to us,” said officer Jon Fitisemanu, a member of the Salt Lake Police Association executive board. “It represents who we are individually and collectively.”

The police association took issue with Mendenhall’s order that calls out “racial and social disparities [that] continue to exist in Salt Lake City.”

“We reject the mayor’s claim of racial and social disparities across all Salt Lake City agencies and institutions,” Fitisemanu read in a prepared statement. “The mayor’s claim wrongfully and insultingly disparages her own employees.”

SLPA’s statement said in recent months their officers “have endured months of rocks, bricks, bottles, bats and other objects hurled at us with hate. Dozens have been injured … We have been called racists … our families and children have been threatened. Even our own employers have castigated us in the news without fact or justification.”

“They’re on the wrong side of history,” said Lex Scott, founder of Black Lives Matter Utah, in response to the statement. “Get on the right side of history. Hold yourself to a higher standard and try to disarm, deescalate situations.”

Scott has been pushing for police reform for years. She praised the mayor’s order that tightens the use of force policy, allows discipline for officers who fail to turn on their body cameras and adds to the search and seizure policy.

“What we need people out there in the public to understand is, we’re not going after individual police officers. We are trying to change the system,” Scott said. “They should not want to use lethal force. They should go out every day and try to protect and serve the public. It’s ‘protect and serve’ not ‘comply or die.’”

The police reforms at SLCPD come amid a backdrop of growing unrest surrounding police use of force in Utah and around the country, largely reignited by the death of George Floyd.

“The officers’ abhorrent actions in Minneapolis that resulted in the death of Mr. Floyd is an example that we cannot, must not tolerate,” Fitisemanu said. “But Salt Lake City is not Minneapolis, or Detroit, or Los Angeles or Chicago. We will not tolerate racial bias in pour works as officers, or in what we witness in the community.”

In response to the association’s pushback, Mendenhall said in a statement:

“Being the best police department doesn’t just happen, it takes continual work and a commitment to improve as best practices evolve. We agree with SLPA that our department is full of good police officers who show up every day with the goal of protecting every resident equally. It’s in the spirit of constant improvement that my administration collaborated with Chief Brown and his team on reforms announced last week. We hope that as their remarks today indicated, SLPA plans to provide their input on the policy changes that will be implemented on September 5 and we look forward to their collaboration and feedback as the Commission on REP makes additional recommendations. It takes all of us to do the work of making a more equitable Salt Lake City.”

KSL 5 TV Live

SLC Protest

Rioters flipped and set a Salt Lake City Police car on fire during the riot in Downtown on May 30, ...

Dan Rascon, KSL TV

No jail time for man who set police car on fire during 2020 riots in SLC

A federal judge granted mercy to a man who set fire to a Salt Lake City police car during the 2020 riots in downtown. 

2 years ago

Rioters flipped and set a Salt Lake City Police car on fire during the riot in Downtown on May 30, ...

Alex Cabrero, KSL TV

SLC Police Chief Reflects On Downtown Riot Nearly One Year Later

Protests and riots broke out around the country a year ago following the death of George Floyd. That unrest later spread to Salt Lake City where a police car was flipped and lit on fire. Police Chief Mike Brown sat down with KSL-TV nearly a year later to reflect back on the day that changed the city and his department. 

3 years ago

Body camera footage obtained exclusively by KSL TV shows the moment a protester threw a rock at a S...

Alex Cabrero

Remembering A Summer Filled With Protests In Utah

In a year marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, a presidential election, and even a serious earthquake, one of the biggest stories here in Utah is what happened on a Saturday afternoon in May. A protest in downtown Salt Lake City turned violent, leaving us with images many never thought we'd see here.

3 years ago

Protesters and police officers line a street in downtown Salt Lake City Saturday, May 30, 2020. (Sh...

Matthew Jacobson, KSL TV

SLCPD Officer Who Pushed Elderly Man During Protest Will Not Be Charged

At the request of the victim, no criminal charges will be filed against an officer who was captured on video pushing an elderly man to the ground during a protest in Salt Lake City.

4 years ago

...

Tania Dean, KSL TV

Protestors March To State Capitol Armed With Guns

A group of protestors marched to the Capitol to rally against police brutality and in favor of equality, but the difference in Sunday's rally was that most of the protestors were armed with semi-automatic weapons.

4 years ago

FILE: Salt Lake City County Building (Getty Images)...

Matt Rascon, KSL TV

SLC’s Commission On Racial Equity Holds First Weekly Meeting

Salt Lake City's newly-formed commission on racial equity met for the first time Wednesday.

4 years ago

Sponsored Articles

Stack of old laptops with dark background...

PC Laptops

Old Laptop Upgrades You Need to Try Before Throwing it Away

Get the most out of your investment. Try these old laptop upgrades before throwing it out to keep it running fast and efficient.

Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...

BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.

Close up of an offset printing machine during production...

Les Olson IT

Top 7 Reasons to Add a Production Printer to Your Business

Learn about the different digital production printers and how they can help your company save time and money.

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...

Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.

Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...

Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.

notebook with password notes highlighted...

PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.

SLC Police Association Pushes Back On Mayor’s Order