SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – A large crowd gathered outside the Salt Lake City Public Safety building Monday evening as the nation continues to protest the death of a Black man who died in Minneapolis police custody.
The crowd could be heard chanting “I can’t breathe!” Those were reportedly the last words uttered by George Floyd while handcuffed and pinned at the neck under the knee of a white police officer.
Protesters also shouted ‘Black Lives Matter!’ and ‘Kneel with us!’ a call to the police officers to join in fight against police brutality and racial injustice.
Members of the Utah National Guard were nearby and at the ready. Utah governor Gary Herbert deployed the Guard over the weekend to help local law enforcement as a weekend protest erupted in destruction and violence.
As the riots escalated, Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall enacted a citywide weekend curfew. Mendhall announced Monday evening she would be enacting a week-long curfew.
The protesters left Salt Lake City police headquarters and marched up State Street toward the Utah State Capitol where they were met by heavy law enforcement presence.
Due to the demonstration, Utah Transit Authority suspended bus and TRAX service for a large portion of downtown.
Around 9:30 p.m. Salt Lake City Police described the demonstration as “mostly peaceful.” According to the Salt Lake City Police Department 16 people two of which were juveniles were arrested Monday and say UHP arrested two people. The majority of arrests were for failure to disperse.