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Utah rally demand community control of police

By Alyssa Ferris

Salt Lake City, UT – Over 20 people gathered at a rally, Feb. 27, organized by Utah Against Police Brutality to demand a community controlled police review board.

“We gather here today to demand that Mayor Jackie Bukuspski and the Salt Lake City Council replace the city’s current inept police civilian review board with a democratic, independent, Community Controlled Police Review Board,” said Michael Christensen of UAPB. “This is the beginning of a fight for a properly-funded board of paid civilians with the power to investigate and subpoena police offers for misconduct, create and amend guidelines that regulate how the police are to behave, and can take action without being influenced by the police or the district attorney’s office.”

Attendees of the rally heard from community members who’d lost loved ones to police violence. Among them was Gina Thayne, whose nephew Dylan Taylor was murdered by police in front of his two cousins – her sons.

“Cops protect and serve, but they should be protecting and serving us, not each other,” said Thayne. The officer who murdered Dylan Taylor was cleared of any wrongdoing by the DA, despite footage from the officer’s body camera showing an unarmed Taylor complying with the officers’ demands. “They [the police] stuck up for each other in every single report I read, so why should we trust them to hold each other responsible?” Thayne asked.

UAPB announced further plans to continue their campaign, including a call-in to Mayor Biskupski’s office and mass attendance to the city council meeting’s open session on March 15.

“It is not enough to protest and rally for each individual murder,” said Gregory Lucero of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization. “We have to build a campaign demanding a community controlled, democratically elected review board of people just like us, who can say ‘enough is enough.’”

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