Provo demonstrators protest in wake of George Floyd’s death

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Hundreds of demonstrators took to downtown Provo Saturday evening to join much of the country in protest over the death of George Floyd.

Several protestors gathered in front of the Provo Police Department building on Center Street, while many others remained in their cars and drove around the city honking their horns, holding signs out their windows and blaring music.

The protests, which began at 5 p.m. Saturday, featured homemade signs reading “Justice for George,” “Stop police brutality” and “No justice, no peace.” Chants of “black lives matter,” “I can’t breathe” and “white silence is violence” broke out during the protests in front of the police station.

Demonstrators gathered on both sides of Center Street and on the median, cheering often as cars drove by and honked. Protestors also raised their fists and took a knee at one point as they held a moment of silence for Floyd, who died Monday after a Minneapolis police officer put his knee on Floyd’s head and neck area. The officer, Derek Chauvin, was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter on Friday.

Women’s March Provo organized the initial demonstration on Facebook, which was to protest the death of not only Floyd but also Bernardo Palacios, who was shot and killed by Salt Lake City police officers on May 23. The Facebook group set up a car caravan up and down University Avenue in Provo from 300 South to 2230 North that was to run from 5 to 6 p.m.

As the start time for the demonstration became closer, however, several Provo residents took to social media to organize additional protests in front of the Provo Police Department.

Other protests took place elsewhere across Utah on Saturday, including one in Salt Lake City that featured a police car being overturned and burned. Several other demonstrations have also taken place throughout the country over the last few days, sometimes turning violent.

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