On March 13, Paul Sanchez, a member of the South Salt Lake City Council, was apprehended for alleged trespassing. He had attempted to enter City Hall despite being prohibited from attending meetings by the City Council.

Body camera footage obtained by The Salt Lake Tribune reveals a confrontation between Sanchez and four police officers as he attempts to enter the building. Deputy Chief Ryan Cram informs Sanchez that he is not allowed inside and must remain outside. In response, Sanchez demands that the officers arrest him, claiming that their actions are unlawful and unconstitutional. Despite his refusal to leave, the officers proceed to handcuff Sanchez.

This incident occurred just a week after the South Salt Lake City Council censured Sanchez due to his recent social media posts. As reported by the Salt Lake Tribune, the Council mandated that Sanchez attend virtual meetings for a minimum of 90 days. A city report states that allegations were made against Sanchez for publicly disclosing Chair Sharla Bynum’s workplace and phone number in a social media post. Additionally, Sanchez allegedly responded to fellow council member Corey Thomas with offensive language, accusing Thomas of portraying him as a misogynist online. As of Friday, these posts were not visible on Sanchez’s Facebook or Instagram accounts, according to the outlet.

Sanchez expressed his belief that the council’s censure violates state and federal laws and intends to pursue legal action, as reported by the outlet. He stated, “This course of action goes beyond personal vindication; it is a firm commitment to upholding the principles of democracy, integrity, and civil liberties. It stands as a resolute opposition to the unlawful overreach and deliberate disregard for constitutionally and statutorily protected rights by those in positions of power within our community.”

Furthermore, Sanchez accused the officers involved in his arrest of employing excessive force. In a statement this week, he asserted, “Every day, we witness a gradual erosion of our civil liberties. The arrest I experienced was not only an infringement upon my First Amendment rights and personal freedoms, but also a reflection of this concerning trend.”