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A look back at summer of anti-police violence protests in Utah

Salt Lake Tribune photojournalists spent weeks documenting demonstrations in Utah.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Hundreds march in downtown Salt Lake City and wave signs from cars on Saturday, May 30, 2020, to protest the death of George Floyd, the man who died at the hands of Minneapolis police officer. Derek Michael Chauvin, the police officer who kneeled on his neck, was convicted of murder.

The first protest in Salt Lake City around George Floyd’s death wasn’t May 30, the day when hundreds rallied near the downtown police headquarters and the Capitol, and the governor declared a state of emergency after marchers flipped a police car and set it on fire.

It was a much smaller gathering the day before, outside the First Unitarian Church. Just a handful of people held signs. Sometimes cars honked as they passed. Photojournalists from The Salt Lake Tribune were there.

The next day, Tribune photojournalists captured the unrest downtown. They spent much of the summer documenting the protests that followed. The scenes were often tense; Sometimes protestors were met by armed groups.

[Read more: One year after George Floyd’s death: Did anything change in Utah?]

Photographers captured impromptu ballet performances and activists spreading red paint to symbolize the blood spilled by state violence. They also documented the tensions — and at times violence — that broke out between police and protesters and counter-protesters.

Here’s a look back at the summer through the lens of Tribune photojournalists:

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) People protest police brutality, holding signs up to passing traffic in front of the First Unitarian Church in Salt Lake City on Friday, May 29, 2020.


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