Utah man who went to see BLM protesters is now running for Provo mayor

A Utah man who was shot twice after driving into a group of Black Lives Matter protesters is now running for mayor’s office in the city of Provo, he said in an attempt to resolve the issues he personally encountered.

In a campaign video, Ken Dudley explains that he is running for Provo Mayor because he has had a number of concerns over the years but was never sure what to do until last summer.

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Dudley said he went to Home Depot on June 29, 2020 to get installation materials. While driving through downtown Provo, Dudley came across an anti-police brutality demonstration during a tide of riot sparked by the murder of George Floyd.

“A group of protesters surrounded my vehicle and held me hostage,” said Dudley. “I tried to be as safe as possible, but in the process I was shot twice by a protestor against Black Lives Matter.”

He said the first shot went through his arm just below the elbow and stopped when it hit his other arm. He suffered a broken arm bone. Dudley said he tried to move forward but was ultimately slowed down and given the shooter another chance to shoot.

The second bullet hit the passenger seat and splintered, cutting a shrapnel through his eyelid and destroying his tear duct.

Dudley said he was bleeding profusely and believed that if he didn’t make it to the hospital he would die. The hopeful mayor then said a policeman had told him he was unfortunately in the wrong place at the wrong time, while another policeman allegedly replied that the demonstration had been stopped because of Dudley.

“This has been a great paradigm shift for me to think, ‘I’m not a victim, I was in the right place at the right time,'” he said.

However, Dudley’s retelling doesn’t mention all of the details surrounding the event.

According to The Salt Lake Tribune, Dudley was riding a Ford Excursion down a bike lane that lined up across the intersection at protesters. Nor does he mention that video footage shows Dudley driving through the protesters and accelerating as he began to meet them.

Dudley’s campaign website states: “The aftermath of this harrowing incident inspired Ken to run for public office to ensure that Provo citizens and their families are safe and that their streets and homes are safe. “

The video shows the SUV pushing demonstrators and then a loud bang can be heard. Salt Lake City resident protester Jesse Taggart, 33, was later arrested and is facing criminal proceedings in connection with the shooting.

Taggart’s legal team argues that he was lawfully exercising Utah’s Stand Your Ground law when he shot Dudley to protect himself and others. His attorney Shane Johnson said Dudley’s campaign is an embodiment of how the Provo community has treated its client and the protests against Black Lives Matter.

A Utah man who was shot twice after driving into a group of Black Lives Matter protesters is now running for Mayor of Provo, he says, to solve the problems he personally encountered. Above, Black Lives Matter supporters protest outside the police station on July 1, 2020 in Provo, Utah.
George Frey / Getty Images

“This was a political demonstration. I think it was a political inquiry, or at least the inquiry was shaped by politics,” he said. “And now, to top it off, we have a victim that goes into politics. I don’t think that’s a coincidence.”

After hearing about Dudley’s experience, an armed militia group called United Citizens Alarm formed and has since promoted Dudley to mayor on their social media channels.

“I feel very humble to be the instigator of these patriots who have stood together to help our community, and that’s what I want to do,” said Dudley.

Newsweek has asked Dudley for a comment.

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