UTAH

Is this illegal? Activists say armed militia is trying to intimidate Black Lives Matter supporters

Aug 5, 2020, 7:36 PM

Is this illegal? Activists say armed militia is trying to intimidate Black Lives Matter supporters...

(Screen grab of the video posted by @amandajean333 on Twitter)

(Screen grab of the video posted by @amandajean333 on Twitter)

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS – Concerned citizens say they’re upset at seeing an armed militia during two dueling rallies outside of the Cottonwood Heights Police Department.  The question is, were any laws actually broken?  Police say, no.

The video shows five people in a truck, two in the cab, three in the bed, all wearing masks and vests with rifles in the bed of the truck.  The woman recording the video points out the truck’s license plate was missing, possibly removed.  She also points attention to the two-way radio chatter where you can hear people describing an “instigator” from the “downtown incident.”

(Warning: profanity)

She asks the armed militia members why they were there when the Black Lives Matter supporters had left Cottonwood Heights City Hall, going away from the pro-police crowd. 

“Why are you here when we came away from you guys to peaceably protest?” she asks.  “So, you’re here to try and intimidate these people, is that it?”

The men in the truck simply respond, “Have a good day, ma’am.”

Was their presence there illegal?  Police on the scene say no one, in either of the dueling rallies, were breaking the rules.

“All of them, everyone, was exercising their constitutional right.  They were all within the law,” says Cottonwood Heights Police Lieutenant Dan Bartlett.  “We took the stance of, ‘If the law’s not being broken, no one is being assaulted and those firearms aren’t being pointed at anybody, we’re going to let them do their thing.’”

Bartlett says many people had a lot of questions about what was permitted and what wasn’t before the rallies began.  They handed out fliers to people letting them know how to protest without breaking the law.  For instance, as long as they weren’t blocking traffic or threatening people, protesters were able to go about their business.

As for the weapons, Bartlett says simply possessing a weapon is not illegal, even on school grounds.  Plus, he says there were members of the other group who also were armed.

“There were armed people on both sides of the street and we had some citizens that expressed some concerns over that, but, we didn’t observe any laws being broken.  They weren’t pointing their firearms and they’re within their constitutional right to have those firearms,” Bartlett says.

As far as the license plate is concerned, Bartlett says he saw the truck, himself, and could see they were complying with the law.

“I said, ‘There’s a temporary license plate in the back window.  I can see it, right there.”

Even if there wasn’t any violence or criminal activity during the rallies in Cottonwood Heights, Bartlett says it’s possible for groups to go too far in the name of “protecting the community.”  He says if a concerned citizen sees someone committing a crime, it’s not the responsibility of that citizen to take any action.  If you see something, Bartlett says you need to call the police.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Utah

Eastyn K. Tueller, 19, is accused of going nearly 100 mph when her vehicle smashed into another veh...

Pat Reavy, KSL.COM

Intoxicated woman in fatal ’22 crash was going 98 mph in 35 mph zone, charges say

A West Valley woman accused of traveling nearly 100 mph in a 35 mph zone while driving impaired has been charged with causing a fatal crash in 2022.

6 hours ago

Shane Romano and Sami Sowers take a rest in the shade at Sunnyside Park in Salt Lake City, Tuesday,...

Mark Jackson

SLC Council considering proposal to lease section of neighborhood park to University of Utah

SLC Council is considering a proposal to lease a little over an acre of Sunnyside Park to the University of Utah for a new baseball stadium.

7 hours ago

Sandy Police Sgt. Clay Swensen, the department's public information officer, talks with member of t...

Devin Oldroyd

Sandy Police looking for missing endangered 35-year-old

The Sandy Police Department is asking the public for help locating missing and endangered 35-year-old David Galloway.

8 hours ago

crime Ballpark...

Curt Gresseth

Cop talks knocking down violent crime in Ballpark Neighborhood

Violent crime in the Ballpark Neighborhood of Salt Lake City is down. A deputy chief details how the SLCPD achieved the results.

8 hours ago

"tree work here" sign pictured on a rose park streed...

Eric Cabrera

Rose Park street losing half its trees, upsetting some residents

Residents of a Rose Park apartment complex are upset. Twenty trees on their street are set to be cut down this week.

9 hours ago

missing tooele woman Karen Crawford is pictured, she was found dead last night...

Mariah Maynes

SLCPD finds missing Tooele woman dead

Tooele Police Department said that Salt Lake City Police Department found Karen Crawford, a missing Tooele woman, dead on Tuesday.

16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Is this illegal? Activists say armed militia is trying to intimidate Black Lives Matter supporters