SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake City Public Safety Building was egged vandalized with graffiti Saturday morning during a protest calling for justice for George Floyd.
Floyd, a black man, died May 25 after a white police officer pressed a knee to his neck for more than eight minutes. The incident was caught on video, and protesters have come out in cities all across the country demanding justice for Floyd.
Utah organizers created events with the intent to peacefully honor Floyd’s death. The 11 a.m. event in Salt Lake City was intended to be an in-car protest only. Protestors were asked to drive by in their vehicles and honk at the public safety building as they circled the block.
Hundreds of protestors on foot circled the Salt Lake City Library several times before filling the sidewalks in front of the Salt Lake City Police Department public safety building, holding signs reading “Justice for George,” “White Silence” and “Stop Police Brutality.”
Aaron Campbell, a man with protest experience, attempted to organize on-foot protestors in groups of 20 to obey social distancing requirements before they were “swarmed by a large group of about a hundred.”
Protestors with loudspeakers led chants such as: “This is what democracy looks like!” “Black Lives Matter” and “I can’t breathe.” Protestors cheered and raised signs amid the ruckus, still backed by constant honking and the revving of motorcycles.
As chants continued, two protestors scaled the entryway of the precinct and spray painted the building with the words “George Floyd,” “(expletive) da police” and “Enough is Enough,” among other things.
Passing cars honked in support, and many of their windows were painted with protest slogans or posters.
Egg shells and food remained littered the steps after the protestors left, and tomatoes and empty egg cartons were discovered nearby.
Campbell said a man on a Harley Davidson motorcycle helped break up the protest in front of the police building when he slowly drove through the crowd and encouraged organizers to continue walking. Many obeyed the suggestion and much of the crowd dispersed, though smaller groups remained on street corners and in front of the building.
Construction signs, local bus stations and the Utah Transit Authority’s Library Station were also vandalized.
Protests continued at the Utah Capitol Building, where hundreds gathered on the steps and peaceful continued chants. Some protestors passed out water and others scaled light posts. A rainbow LGBTQ+ pride flag billowed in the wind in front of the building, and passing motorcyclists continued to rev their engines to cheers.
No physical violence was reported at any of the protest’s locations, though additional graffiti reading “Blue Lives Murder” and “No Justice, no peace,” among others, covered areas of the steps and grounds. Graffiti was also found on the Capitol’s front windows, much of it painted in red. Protest signs were also taped to the windows.
Hundreds knelt on the front steps with fists in the air in tribute of George Floyd, and a protestors with a loudspeaker gave a brief speech denouncing police brutality and encouraging protestors to remain active because “showing up is not enough” to end injustice, he said.
This story will be updated