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More people charged in the flipping and burning of Salt Lake City police car during protest

(Trent Nelson | Tribune file photo) A woman twerks on an overturned police car that was destroyed and burned during a protest against police brutality at the State Capitol in Salt Lake City on May 30. A total of ten people have now been charged in connection to the incident.

Prosecutors on Tuesday charged two more people — which brings the total to 10 — for their involvement in allegedly flipping and burning a Salt Lake City police car during a protest against police brutality May 30 that turned violent.

M.J. Powell, 21, of Draper, and Bobby Messina, 24, of Salt Lake City, were charged with criminal mischief, a first-degree felony, and rioting, a third-degree felony.

Those were the same charges against Monico Isidro Romero, 31, of Salt Lake City.

Others who already face charges stemming from the incident include Folau Ofakikolokakal Mafi, 26, of Salt Lake City; Rhys Clementine Wisner, 21, of Midvale; Julie Mariam Yasima, 26, of Murray; Connor Peebles, 21, of Belmont, Mich.; and Ian Eric Nightingale, 18, of South Jordan.

Also, Jackson Stuart Tamowski Patton, 26, and Latroi Devons Newbins, 28, have been charged in district and federal court for their alleged part in damaging and setting the car ablaze.

Probable cause statements say an officer was driving her patrol car into work and was stopped by a crowd of protesters near 200 East and 400 South. The crowd surrounded her car and banged on the windows, according to the statement. She called for help and was picked up by other officers.

After that, police say, defendants pushed the car onto its roof. It was later set on fire and destroyed.

According to the probable cause statement for Powell, he was identified as “a former Police Explorer,” and the one who “pulled off the light bar” on the roof of the patrol car.

Masina’s probable cause statement said he was seen in a video “climbing on top of the patrol car (the passenger side) and jumping on it” He was “identified as Masina by a tattoo on [his] hand.” One of the detectives said in the statement that he “personally knows Masina and has attended neighborhood activities with Masina and Masina’s family.”


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