KSL TV: NAACP Announces Utah As First State To Respond To Concerns, Calls For Action


SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The NAACP Salt Lake Branch on Friday announced Utah as the first state to respond to the organization’s concerns and calls to action.

The association hosted a press conference at the Utah Capitol Building to discuss proposed legislation on police relationships with the community as well as broad goals for community discussion to address long-standing nationwide concerns, according to a statement from the NAACP.

Jeanetta Williams, the president of the NAACP Salt Lake Branch and the NAACP Tri-State Conference of Idaho-Nevada-Utah, said law enforcement and elected officials have responded to calls for sweeping police reform and federal legislation.

According to a national statement from the NAACP, the organization is calling for that legislation to mandate a “zero-tolerance approach in penalizing and/or prosecuting police officers who kill unarmed, non-violent, and resisting individuals in an arrest.”

The group is calling for the legislation to include the following principles:

  • A ban on the use of knee holds and chokeholds as an acceptable practice for police officers.
  • The Use of Force Continuum for any police department in the country must ensure that there are at least 6 levels of steps, with clear rules on escalation.
  • Each State’s Open Records Act must ensure officer misconduct information and disciplinary histories are not shielded from the public.
  • Recertification credentials may be denied for police officers if determined that their use of deadly force was unwarranted by federal guidelines.
  • Implementation of Citizen’s Review Boards in municipalities to hold police departments accountable and build public confidence.

Utah State Sen. Daniel Thatcher, R-District 21, has sponsored bills related to three of the items on the list. Williams called for Democratic Utah legislators to sponsor the rest of the bills.

Thatcher, who spoke during Friday’s press conference, said he does not consider himself a leader when it comes to the bills he’s sponsored. Rather, he’s listening to the affected community and following their guidance.

“When the NAACP reaches out and asks you to support them,” he said, “the only acceptable answer is, ‘Yes.'”

State Attorney General Sean Reyes also spoke at the press conference, noting he is the first person of color to be elected to a statewide office in Utah.

He recounted growing up having mixed feelings about law enforcement, saying he recognized them for their work keeping the communities safe. But he said he also noticed how people of color he knew were often mistreated by police.

Williams asked protesters to do their part as well by completing the national census, registering to vote, and showing up at the polls.

This article will be updated

  • Free consultation

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.

  • Professional

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.

  • Office

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.