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SLCC chosen as one of several national Black Lives Matter protests

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TAYLORSVILLE — Salt Lake Community College's Redwood Campus was identified as the site for a protest in conjunction with the Black Lives Matter movement on Friday at 5 p.m.

The campus is one of 37 locations across the U.S. where people are expected to gather to speak out against police brutality, especially involving black Americans. The protests were announced in a video uploaded to YouTube by TheAnonMessage, a self-proclaimed affiliate of the "hacktivist" group Anonymous.

The video, which was published on Saturday, shows graphic footage of recent officer-involved shootings in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and outside Minneapolis. A computer-generated voice recounts the incidents, as well as the fatal shooting against police in Dallas, and decries them as "vicious murders."

The video calls for "a collective day of rage, a day of action centered around civil disobedience and the right to protest," though it states that the protests should be nonviolent.

"We condemn every form of rioting," the video states.

SLCC officials said they became aware of the scheduled protest through social media last weekend. But SLCC is no stranger to similar events not sponsored by the college.

"This organization or organizations like it have had events at our campus that have been named the same thing or something similar probably the last three or four consecutive years," said SLCC spokesman Joy Tlou.

Tlou said the college contracts its security through the Utah Highway Patrol and has met with them about the protest. But previous events haven't caused a significant disturbance.

"We have not had any sort of incidents through the sequence of these gatherings that I know of," he said. "Our primary concern is to just make sure that our students, faculty, staff, visitors, including these folks that plan on demonstrating, are safe. And we'll do everything that we possibly can to make sure that they are."

While the public is allowed on campus, most protests have gathered along Redwood Road to appeal to traffic there, Tlou said. It's unclear how many people have participated previously.

"Friday afternoon at 5 o'clock is a really quiet time at the college, especially in the summertime," he said.

Several protests and vigils have been held throughout Utah in recent weeks with different aims, such as demanding more public transparency of police officers, calling for less divisiveness and mourning those who have died in officer-involved shootings.

Email: mjacobsen@deseretnews.com

Twitter: MorganEJacobsen