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Protests against police crimes fill the streets of Salt Lake City

By Matt Romrell |
June 6, 2020
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Protestors marching on state street through the center of downtownSalt Lake City
Protestors marching on state street through the center of downtown Salt Lake City (Ellen Decoo)

Salt Lake City, UT - Thursday, June 4 marks the sixth night in a row that downtown streets in Salt Lake City has been shut down due to protests for justice for George Floyd, Bernardo Palacios and all victims of police violence. After five strong days of protesting, chanting and marching against police brutality and its many victims, it does not appear that the nationwide movement will be losing any steam here in Utah.

At least 700 people gathered at the State Capitol June 4 in what started as a quiet gathering of speakers that turned into a march through downtown of about 2000. After a few short speeches and chants of “Say his name” and “Black lives matter” the crowd took to State Street and quickly filled the road for a whole block. The march was not originally planned but as the crowd grew in numbers it became clear that taking the streets to make sure their message was heard, was not only possible, but necessary.

With most walking, and a few driving, chanting from the back of pickup trucks or through open sunroofs, the march made strategic stops in front of the mayor’s office, police station and courthouse before heading back to the capitol well after 9 p.m. At each stop different chants muted the noise of the city until an organizer called for nine minutes of silence while everyone lay face down in the road.

Since the National Day of Protest called by Utah Against Police Brutality on May 30, many organizations have stepped up in leading events and holding many different actions to call for justice, not only for George Floyd, but also for local Rose Park resident Bernardo Palacios, who was murdered by Salt Lake City police on May 28. Many familiar faces have been out every single night, but each night also brings new protesters using their voice.

“It’s been incredibly moving, especially being surrounded by the calls for justice,” exclaimed Elizabeth Flemming who was participating in her first ever protest.

With thousands taking the streets each night, and more events planned throughout the coming week, it is clear that Utah protesters won't stop soon and continue to demand an end to police violence and for killer cops to be jailed.

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