SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown released a statement on Sunday regarding the officer seen shoving a man with a cane to the ground during Saturday’s protests.
The incident occurred while ABC4 reporter Nicole Neuman and photojournalist Josh Witzel was covering the riots live from downtown Salt Lake City Saturday night. While reporting, viewers witnessed an armed police officer shove a man with a cane to the ground. Shortly after, other officers helped the man to his feet.
Sister station KTVX posted the video to YouTube where it has since been viewed tens of thousands of times by people around the country and prompted a flood of angry comments.
The footage can be seen here:
“We have spent hours sifting through the footage to identify the officer involved, we know who it is and we have begun the investigation,” said Brown. “I have seen the video, and it was inappropriate.”
Brown said they will follow their proceedures which includes and internal affairs investigation as well as a review by the civilian review board who will then provide a recommendation to him.
“I want to say this is not what I would expect from Salt Lake City PD,” said Brown. “My expectations are that if people are exercising their first amendment rights, we give them the space to do so peacefully.”
Brown said he has spoken to the man seen in the video to express his concern for his well being and to apologize to him directly.
“It was hard for me to watch what happened, and I know it was even harder for him to experience it,” said Brown.
Brown additionally stated that “overwhelmingly he saw exemplarly professionalism and thank all the officers for the hours upon hours of standing in the sweltering heat in all their protective gear.”
Brown said he was relieved that under the reality of the situation that there were no fatalities.
“My heart aches for the pain caused and insecure feelings that we have experienced over the last 24 hours here in Salt Lake City,” Said Brown. “We understand that this insecure feeling pails in comparison to the overarching original reason for the protest.”
Brown said they reiterate their committment to stamping out systemic racism.
You can watch Chief Brown’s statement here:
(Courtesy of Salt Lake Utah Police)