George Floyd | KUER 90.1

George Floyd

Photo of mural.
Chelsea Naughton / KUER

Updated 1:42 p.m. MDT 7/22/2020

A dozen portraits of people who were killed by police have been painted on a building in Salt Lake City following the deaths of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Bernardo Palacios-Carbajal in Salt Lake City.

The art, installed by a group of about 20 unnamed artists, is part of a larger, ongoing movement in which thousands of people have marched in the streets across Utah to protest police brutality and racial injustice.

Police vehicle with emergency lights flashing at night.
Brian Albers / KUER

Utah state Rep. Carl Albrecht, R-Richfield, is pursuing a resolution honoring law enforcement and first responders. 

Rufus and Marsha Ellington
Kate Groetzinger/ KUER News

Warning: this report includes offensive language.

Updated 12:18 p.m. 7/8/20

Residents of Price and nearby Helper have revived calls for the Price City police chief to step down, due to concerns that he is racially biased. Calls for his resignation first came in 2017, after Brandon Sicilia, then a sergeant, posted derogatory comments about Black and Muslim people on Facebook, and again in 2019, when he was promoted to police chief. 

Close up photo of the George Floyd mural.
Brian Albers/KUER

Monday morning, June 22, 2020

Photo of a large crowd of protesters in Salt Lake City
Kelsie Moore for KUER

Friday marks the fourth year that Utah has officially recognized Juneteenth as a state holiday. It dates back to 1865, when the last enslaved people were freed in Texas. African-Americans celebrate it as their Independence Day. But this year’s celebration comes as the nation and the state are gripped by protests against racial injustice and police brutality.

Photo of the Utah state capitol building.
Brian Albers / KUER

The state Legislature is taking steps to ban police officers from using chokeholds or kneeling on someone’s neck as a form of restraint. 

Photo of the wave.
Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday morning, June 16, 2020

Updated 7:28 p.m. ET

George Floyd, whose killing by police inspired worldwide protests calling for an end to systemic racism and police brutality, was taken to a cemetery for burial Tuesday in his hometown of Houston.

The black man died May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly 9 minutes. A video captured by a bystander showed Floyd pleading for air and calling out for his mother.

Floyd, 46, was to be buried next to his mother.

Photo of people sitting, kneeling and lying in a street with signs including “Justice For George Floyd.”
Kate Groetzinger/KUER

MOAB—Watching hundreds of people take to the streets in Moab on Friday night to demand an end to racial inequality and police brutality brought tears to Desirae Miller’s eyes. 

Photo of protesters encircling a pile of discarded roses and signs in a rainy parking lot.
David Fuchs / KUER

As rain poured down Saturday evening, hundreds of protesters gathered at the State Capitol to hold a vigil for Bernardo Palacios-Carbajal — the 22-year-old man who died in an officer-involved shooting in Salt Lake City over Memorial Day weekend.

Protestors hold sign at a Black Lives Matter event in St. George, Utah.
Lexi Peery/ KUER News

The Dixie State University football program held a team meeting recently — not to discuss plays but to talk about the protests being held nationwide in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of police.

Photo of police standing outside at night
Brian Albers / KUER

The death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis spurred protests against racial injustice in Salt Lake City and around the world. But the incident has some Utahns thinking about the state’s own relationship between police and civilians.

Image of black squares.
Renee Bright / KUER

If you’ve been on social media in the past few days, you might have seen a flood of black squares in support of the Black Lives Matter movement ... and then criticism of those black squares that they were misguided or just for show. There’s a term for that: “slacktivism.” 

Photo of a crowd of people standing in front of a car turned upside down and on fire
Courtesy of Sarah Ramirez

Nearly 60 people have been arrested following protests over the past few days in Salt Lake City against police brutality and racial injustice. The majority, 41 came on Saturday — the most destructive event — though most were charged for failing to disperse. On Monday, 18 more were arrested, including two juveniles. 

Photo of a bird
Mathias Appel via Flickr

Tuesday evening, June 2, 2020

Weekend protests drew crowds across the country including in the Mountain West, from hundreds in Boise and Reno to thousands in Denver. Some city leaders now worry such gatherings could lead to new outbreaks of COVID-19.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock announced Sunday that the city will be offering free tests to demonstrators. 

Photo of a group of protesters facing a line of police.
Elaine Clark / KUER

People flooded the streets of Salt Lake City Saturday to protest the in-custody death of George Floyd. One of them was Shea Freedom, a musician and activist based in Salt Lake City. KUER’s Caroline Ballard caught up with him on Sunday to hear about his experience.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Caroline Ballard: How has your experience influenced how you think about the unique intersection of civil rights & LGBTQ rights?

Photo of Salt Lake City skyline at night
Brian Albers / KUER

Monday evening, June 1, 2020

Photo of buildings in downtown Salt Lake City
Brian Albers / KUER

Monday morning, June 1, 2020

Men in orange vests outside building
Jon Reed/KUER

Updated 9:47 a.m. MDT 6/1/2020

Salt Lake City officials launched a massive cleanup effort on Sunday, the day after intense protests through downtown Salt Lake City left a wake of damage, including spray painted graffiti on the State Capitol, smashed windows and overturned and burned two cars, including a police cruiser. 

Photo of riot police in Salt Lake City.
Brian Albers / KUER

Sunday evening, May 31, 2020

Graffiti on Utah Capitol grounds.
Jon Reed / KUER

Utah politicians are largely criticizing the violence that took place during a Saturday protest over the in-custody death of George Floyd, a black man in Minneapolis. Some are calling for systemic change to prevent more deaths of black people at the hands of police. 

State Rep. Sandra Hollins, D-Salt Lake City, said protests are effective tools to bring awareness to issues, although she’s worried the violence on Saturday has diluted that message. 

Graffiti cleanup at the Utah Capitol.
Jon Reed / KUER

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall said Sunday morning the city’s streets are “quiet and calm” after Saturday’s protests against police brutality turned violent.

But Mendenhall cautioned against prematurely lifting a citywide curfew that went into effect 8 p.m. Saturday and is scheduled to last until 6 a.m. Monday.

Photo of protest line and riot police in Salt Lake City.
Ross Terrell / KUER

Updated 11:00 p.m. MDT 5/30/2020

A citywide curfew enacted by Salt Lake City to quell violence after a day of protest against police brutality went into effect Saturday night, as police advanced on demonstrators, pushing them south from downtown Salt Lake City.