Protesters gather again in Salt Lake City; mayor says she hears their message and is acting

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) People gather to protest police brutality at the State Capitol in Salt Lake City on Monday, June 15, 2020.

For the 16th time in 17 days, demonstrators took to the streets of Salt Lake City.

The Salt Lake Equal Rights Movement led a protest at the state Capitol to, as it said online, show “solidarity with our black community as we discuss our demands for police defunding and disbandment.” People posting videos of the event on Twitter estimated about 200 protesters were there in the late afternoon.

It came about the same time that Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall tweeted that she and city leaders are hearing the messages from all those days of protests, and are taking action.

“For those wondering if @SLCgov has heard your messages: absolutely we have,” she tweeted. “There are so many ways for the City to affect change when it comes to racial injustice. Budgets are one piece.”

And she listed several others, including strengthening the Civilian Review Board; developing a citywide equity plan; improving diversity in the police force; supporting changes in laws about use of deadly force; and making affordable housing, food and jobs more accessible.

“This whole conversation is an opportunity and a mandate for us to listen and consider that the lens through which we’ve seen this country may be intrinsically flawed,” Mendenhall tweeted.

Two other protests occurred in Salt Lake County on Monday, for other issues.

A group of Cottonwood Heights residents planned a city hall protest Thursday evening against that city’s police department.

And Families Against Domestic Violence organized a protest at the Scott Matheson Courthouse to protest restrictions on parents’ rights in family court, and to call for harsher penalties for violent domestic crime.