Police arrest fourth person in connection with June 29 Provo protest

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John Earle Sullivan was booked into the Utah County Jail Thursday night on felony and misdemeanor charges. (Utah County Sheriff’s Office)

Provo police arrested a fourth person Thursday night in connection with the June 29 protest in downtown Provo.  

Sandy native John Earle Sullivan, 25, was taken to the Utah County Jail under the suspicion of third-degree felony rioting, class A misdemeanor criminal mischief and class B misdemeanor threat of violence.

According to the affidavit of probable cause filed in support of Sullivan’s arrest, police officers responded to an unlawful protest in downtown Provo on June 29 between the hours of 6 p.m. to 11:45 p.m. The affidavit states the protest was unlawful because the protestors did not obtain a permit for the event.

“One of the organizers of the protest was John Earle Sullivan,” the affidavit reads. “His organization (Insurgence USA) also promoted the event. John Sullivan and Insurgence USA had social media postings promoting other protestors to join them.”

Police allege that Sullivan committed riotous acts as a leader and organizer of the protest by blocking motorists from moving freely on roadways and by damaging vehicles. At one point during the protest, two handguns were brandished by other protestors and two shots were fired by Salt Lake City native Jesse Taggart towards a driver making his way to Home Depot, according to the affidavit.

According to the affidavit, Sullivan conducted a Facebook live broadcast in which he invited demonstrators to join the protest. Additional videos show Sullivan kicking the driver’s side door of a vehicle while yelling expletives and making threats to the driver.

The affidavit states that another video shows Sullivan walking and conversing with Taggart following the shooting. Sullivan is also heard talking to other protestors about seeing smoke from the gun after the shots were fired.

“John Sullivan had a criminal responsibility as a direct commission of the offenses or conduct of another to report felony acts, condemn the behavior and aide in the investigation,” the affidavit reads.

Sullivan is currently being held at the Utah County Jail on $7,500 bail.

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