Lone soldier protests at Utah State Capitol: ‘I can’t breathe’

Local News

Photo: Josh Wabel

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Protests have spread across the nation and in Utah in the wake of the death of a black man who died in Minneapolis police custody.

Utah has seen demonstrations from across the Beehive state this week to express anger, frustration, and sorrow over the death of George Floyd and black Americans before him.

Many of the protests were peaceful. Some devolved to destruction and violence. One many of the demonstrations have involved yelling and chanting, but some are silent.

RELATED: Minneapolis bans police chokeholds in wake of Floyd’s death

ABC4 News viewer shared photos he took of a silent protest at the Utah State Capitol Friday. Josh Wabel was driving by when he saw a man dressed in a military uniform standing at attention with tape over his mouth that said, “I can’t breathe” and holding a sign calling for justice.

Photo: Josh Wabel

RELATED: SLCPD Chief Mike Brown takes a knee to show solidarity with peaceful protesters

“I can’t breathe.” Those were the words uttered Floyd while handcuffed and pinned at the neck under the knee of a white police officer.

The soldier’s sign calls for justice for Floyd, Breonna Tayor, Tamir Rice, and “countless others.”

Wabel said he was moved by the demonstration. “It was an emotional thing to witness. And even though he was silent his message was loud.”

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