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Man seen pointing bow and arrow during downtown protest arrested, charged

A man exits his car with a bow and arrow after being swarmed by protesters near Library Square in Salt Lake City on Saturday, May 30, 2020. Protesters joined others across the nation to decry the death of George Floyd, a black man, who died while being taken into custody by police in Minneapolis earlier this week.
Brandon Earl McCormick exits his car with a bow and arrow after being swarmed by protesters near Library Square in Salt Lake City on Saturday, May 30, 2020. Protesters joined others across the nation to decry the death of George Floyd, a black man, who died while being taken into custody by police in Minneapolis earlier this week.
Laura Seitz, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — A man who police say was threatening protesters with a bow and arrow in downtown Salt Lake City on Saturday — who has a prior history of violence — has been formally charged.

Brandon Earl McCormick, 57, of Taylorsville, was charged Thursday in 3rd District Court with two counts of possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, and aggravated assault, both third-degree felonies; and threatening to use a weapon during a fight, a class A misdemeanor.

On Saturday, as the protest in downtown Salt Lake was growing in size, McCormick attempted to drive his vehicle on 200 East near 415 South. He was stopped due to people in the road, according to charging documents.

“Once (McCormick’s) vehicle stopped, he was observed exiting his vehicle and yelling, ‘(expletive) you, all lives matter.’ After those expressions, (he) obtained a large knife from his vehicle and moved toward a crowd gathered nearby while continuing to yell,” the charges state.

Video obtained by investigators showed McCormick brandishing a large knife, then returning to his vehicle and pulling out a bow and arrow from the back seat, according to the charges.

“He is observed loading the arrow into the bow and drawing the arrow back. He then points the bow with the arrow loaded and drawn back at several people in the crowd in a manner as if to shoot them,” the charges state.

No one was injured by McCormick. But the angry crowd swarmed and attacked McCormick after he pointed the bow and arrow at them. Salt Lake police pulled McCormick away from the crowd. He was seen being led away with a bloody face. Afterward, rioters overturned McCormick’s SUV and lit it on fire.

Brandon Earl McCormick, 57, of Taylorsville, was arrested June 4, 2020, after he was accused of pointing a bow and arrow at protesters in Salt Lake City protesting against racism and police brutality after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. McCormick now faces charges.
Brandon Earl McCormick, 57, of Taylorsville, was arrested June 4, 2020, after he was accused of pointing a bow and arrow at protesters in Salt Lake City protesting against racism and police brutality after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. McCormick now faces charges.
Salt Lake County Jail

Prosecutors say this isn’t the first time McCormick’s temperament has gotten him in trouble with the law.

He was charged with assault in Taylorsville Justice Court on May 7 in a suspected road rage incident, according to police. In that case, McCormick was angry that another vehicle pulling a trailer near 6200 South and 4000 West was allegedly driving too slow, said Unified Police Sgt. Melody Gray. He claimed he was then cut off, which somehow resulted in a fistfight between the two drivers, she said. McCormick left the scene before police arrived but was found at his home a short time later and cited.

McCormick was previously convicted of battery on a peace officer/fireman in San Bernardino, California, according to the charges, as well as possessing/manufacturing/selling a dangerous weapon.

A $100,000 warrant was issued Thursday for McCormick’s arrest, whom police say has been in contact with them. He was arrested Thursday night and booked into Salt Lake County Jail.

The Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office also asked for anyone with additional information on the case to contact them at 385-468-7700 or email DistrictAtty@slco.org as they continue to investigate the case.

In an interview with Fox 13 on Monday, McCormick said he’s felt insulted by the people who’ve accused him of being a white supremacist in wake of the incident, and that he’s not one. He told Fox 13 he wasn’t intending to be derogatory when he said all lives matter and that he regrets his action as it “painted a negative picture for what people are trying to do.”