Facebook Twitter

Four more charged with rioting, vandalizing district attorney’s building

SHARE Four more charged with rioting, vandalizing district attorney’s building

The front walk and other areas of the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office building in Salt Lake City is covered in red paint on Friday, July 10, 2020. The building suffered tens of thousands of dollars in damage when protesters broke out at least three windows and spread red paint over large portions of the building and area in front of the structure on Thursday.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Four more people were charged Tuesday with rioting or vandalizing the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office shortly after a decision on the Bernardo Palacios-Carbajal shooting was announced.

Richard Lovell Davis, 31; Marvin Buck Oliveros, 39; and Madalena Rose McNeil, 28, of Salt Lake City, were each charged in 3rd District Court with criminal mischief, a first-degree felony, and rioting, a third-degree felony.

Hurija Mustafic, 26, of West Valley City, was charged with rioting, a third-degree felony, and two counts of assault on a police officer, a class A misdemeanor.

A total of eight people have now been charged in connection with rioting and causing more than $200,000 damage to the district attorney’s office building, 35 E. 500 South, on July 9, hours after District Attorney Sim Gill announced two Salt Lake police officers were legally justified in using deadly force against Palacios. Vandals broke windows and poured gallons of red paint over the entryway and street in front of the building, according to prosecutors.

Oliveros is the brother of Cody Belgard, who was shot and killed by Salt Lake police in 2018. His van was found parked in front of the district attorney’s building after the rioters were moved, and buckets of red paint, rollers and a ladder were found inside, according to charging documents. Police also reported finding a livestream post on social media from Oliveros stating the paint supplies were in his van and that they “will worry about that later.”

McNeil is accused of purchasing the paint from Home Depot and was allegedly seen on surveillance video loading it into Oliveros’ van. Later, after the protest was deemed by police to be an unlawful gathering and officers wearing riot gear moved in to clear the area, McNeil incited other protesters and appeared to “slam” into an officer who blocked her with his shield, the charges state.

Mustafic kicked an officer in the groin, stomach and legs and grabbed the officer’s baton and shield, according to charging documents, and then kicked a second officer.

Davis was identified as one of two men who used metal poles to shatter windows at the building, the charges state.

On Wednesday, the nonprofit Alliance for a Better Utah issued a statement regarding the arrests of McNeil and Oliveros, criticizing Gill’s decision to charge them.

“In bringing exorbitant charges for low-level offenses against activists and organizers, the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office, whether intentional or not, is sending a message to the public about the way it sees protests against police brutality. By choosing to bring disproportionate felony charges, District Attorney Sim Gill is reinforcing the narrative of an unjust, punitive criminal justice system that people have been protesting in the first place,” alliance Executive Director Chase Thomas said in a prepared statement.

“If Gill is serious about respecting the Black Lives Matter movement and ending police brutality, he has a responsibility to reflect that by carefully deciding how to respond to civil disobedience. These overly aggressive charges will only continue to erode the trust the public has in our law enforcement and criminal justice systems when Gill should be doing everything he can to restore that trust.”

McNeil has been a prominent organizer through Salt Lake Valley COVID Mutual Aid, making sure that protesters have food, water and masks, according to the alliance.