University of Utah says most arrested at pro-Palestine rally are not students

The U. says now that a total of 19 people were detained Monday.

(Chris Samuels | The Salt Lake Tribune) A protester is arrested during a demonstration in support of Palestine at the University of Utah, Monday, April 29, 2024.

The number of protesters arrested at the pro-Palestine rally and encampment at the University of Utah is now at 19.

The school updated its tally Tuesday afternoon — from an initial report of 17 arrests — after a chaotic clash where officers in riot gear forcefully broke up the rally, charging into those gathered on campus Monday night.

Of the new total, 14 are not affiliated with the university. Four are students, and one is an employee, according to U. spokesperson Rebecca Walsh. The U. is not releasing their names.

All 19 people were arrested Monday night, but two occurred after the total was released at 11:45 p.m.

Walsh confirmed that one of the people arrested was hit in the arm by a “non-lethal foam baton” fired by law enforcement. The protester had been throwing rocks at officers, she said. He was checked by medics before he was booked in Salt Lake County jail.

The university police department, she said, is still screening for charges for all those arrested. Officers are looking at misdemeanors for trespassing and disorderly conduct.

Walsh also said that two officers — instead of the initial one reported Monday — were injured. Both of them had minor injuries.

Four police departments from across Salt Lake County, in addition to U. campus police, responded to the rally. Students had peacefully gathered on campus in support of Palestine and to call on the university to divest its endowment from Israel and companies profiting off the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

They set up tents and carried posters. After seven hours, officers stormed into the crowd with plastic shields. They dragged students out and detained them with zip ties.

Some students threw objects at police. Both sides hurled insults.

Student organizers have said that at least five of the detained protesters have since been released.