Police investigating vandalism at Utah State Capitol

SALT LAKE CITY — Police are investigating after vandals painted graffiti on a building at the Utah State Capitol campus.

A photo provided to FOX 13 by Utah State Auditor John Dougall shows that someone spray-painted the words “Solidarity with Bears Ears” and an anarchy symbol outside the Utah State Senate building.

A photo of vandalism at the Utah State Capitol. (Photo courtesy John Dougall, Utah State Auditor)

The graffiti is an apparent reference to the controversy over President Trump’s decision to shrink the Bears Ears National Monument. The Utah State Legislature overwhelmingly approved a resolution last year supporting the move.

Allyson Gamble, Executive Director of the Capital Preservation Board, expressed her disappointment over the damage.

“The People’s House is open to all Utahns for free speech activity seven days a week,” she stated. “It’s a shame to vandalize the Utah State Capitol, our symbol of democracy.”

Sgt. Tom Schneiter of the Utah Highway Patrol, the agency in charge of security at the Capitol, said the graffiti was painted early Saturday morning, sometime after midnight, on the east office building on the Capitol campus.

He said there is surveillance footage from the incident, but authorities are not releasing that video or specific details about the crime due to the ongoing nature of the investigation.

The suspect(s) approached the building on foot. It is not clear how many people were involved.

Schneiter said they may release additional details as the investigation advances. He said vandalism is considered a misdemeanor.

The Preservation Board is working to remove the spray paint.