Gov. Cox declares state of emergency ahead of expected protests over the weekend
SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Spencer Cox declared a weeklong state of emergency Thursday evening ahead of planned protests at the state Capitol building. The declaration will begin Friday and continue until after the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on Jan. 20.
The state of emergency comes in response to the storming of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. last week as Congress met to certify the Electoral College results. After violence broke out — resulting in five deaths and dozens of arrests — several lawmakers remarked they feared for their lives.
Utah Gov. @SpencerJCox has declared a state of emergency ahead of potential protests.
“We respect the right of Utah residents to peaceably assemble as guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution. But we draw the line at threats to physical safety or to the Utah Capitol building.” pic.twitter.com/gNmpZmP2AC
— Utah Gov. Spencer J. Cox (@GovCox) January 15, 2021
The violence also resulted in damage to the U.S. Capitol building as protesters smashed windows and vandalized indoor walls.
“We respect the right of Utah residents to peaceably assemble as guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution,” Cox said in a statement. “But we draw the line at threats to physical safety or to the Utah Capitol building. No violence of any kind will be tolerated.”
Utah state troopers report they will increase security at the Capitol over the weekend in anticipation of planned protests.
Cox signed the executive order Thursday evening, which will close the Capitol grounds to the public until Jan. 21. That means it will be closed during Mr. Biden’s inauguration as well as the state of the state legislative session.
The governor also asked the Utah National Guard, Utah Highway Patrol and surrounding police departments to be prepared in case violence breaks out.
Today’s Top Stories
- Herriman mother saved by off-duty police officer
- Husband of Bluffdale mayor faces charges threatening city councilman
- Fourth of July weekend weather conditions ripe for fires
- CDC confirms five monkeypox cases in Utah
- Salt Lake County says it has decreased water-use on its golf courses
- Two people injured in Brigham City two-vehicle crash
- Fireworks and some open flames are now banned in Park City
- Delta pilots picketing in Salt Lake City and across the country
- You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake
- UDOT reminds travelers of heavy traffic over the holiday weekend