Organizers of an End Police Brutality Provo counter protest marched down University Avenue on Monday night, blocking traffic and chanting slogans.

The event was sponsored by groups out of Salt Lake including Solidarity For Justice, Salt Lake Equal Rights Movement, Salt Lake City Antifascist Coalition and Insurgence

The event's Facebook page invited area residents to “come stand with us, we cannot accept these blatant acts of discrimination, racism and unethical acts towards people of color. Let’s crush this suppression.”

The protesters, who were asked to wear face masks in an effort to keep people safe, intended Monday's gathering to be a peaceful protest, but the situation did escalate into some initial confrontation.

Protesters started by blocking traffic in all directions at the heart of downtown Provo, the intersection of Center Street and University Avenue. Dressed mostly in black with many holding signs, protesters were led in chants of "No justice, no peace" and "Hey, hey, ho, ho, these racist cops have got to go" among others. 

Video posted later from the scene, shows at least one vehicle, a white SUV, forcing its way through the protesters, with one of the protesters aiming a gun and appearing to fire a shot at the vehicle. Police arrived to somewhat secure the scene, but still allowed protesters to block traffic at the intersection.

After a period of time, the group marched up University to the intersection at 100 North, blocking traffic in all directions and continuing to chant. This maneuver continued up University for several blocks, while still impeding traffic, before the group turned and made its way back to Center Street.

Police and fire vehicles traveled a block or so ahead of the migrating group, attempting to divert traffic in advance of the protest.

According to Sgt. Nisha King, police did not intend to disrupt the group unless the protest again turned violent.

On Tuesday, Nicole Martin, Community Relations and Public Information Officer for Provo, said the city and police would release a further statement and update on the protest this morning.

Daily Herald reporter Genelle Pugmire can be contacted at gpugmire@heraldextra.com, (801) 344-2910, Twitter @gpugmire

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