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Matt Rascon, KSL TV

Utah Black Lives Matter group calls for justice at Salt Lake rally

By Matt Rascon, KSL TV | Posted - Apr. 17, 2021 at 9:21 a.m.

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SALT LAKE CITY – Protesters held a peaceful rally in downtown Salt Lake City to add their voices to the cry for justice across the country.

The Black Lives Matter rally outside the headquarters of the Salt Lake City Police Department ended peacefully Friday night.

For many, the event capped off an upsetting week of police shootings across the country. Metal barriers separated protesters from officers inside, but there was nothing in the way of their message in their call for justice.

There was no room for silence, organizers said.

"We're here to make a point about that we're not going to stop," said Josh Chamberlain.

Chamberlain and his brother Ben have been to rallies before and said they would again.

"We keep coming to these because it keeps happening," he said. "The system is important. I think all the way up to policing and government is important, but everyday actions from each of us are super important, as well."

Outside the police department, things remained peaceful, but the actions of a few officers remained in the spotlight.

"We've known about the problem. It's time to quit yanking chains. Let's do something about it now," said Rae Duckworth.

As the trial wraps up of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, protesters also remembered George Floyd, Daunte Wright and Bryan Valencia.

"It's been a very emotional, traumatic week, and I would advise anybody if you truly love your black and brown friends to check on them this week," said Duckworth.

It was unclear what may come from the protest, but Duckworth said there were already real benefits.

"We're at least bringing people together that all believe the same thing, and I think that in itself is a win," said Ben Chamberlain.

No matter what the coming weeks bring in their fight for justice, the Chamberlain brothers planned to continue showing up for a community they say needs the support.

"I believe that everybody is important, that everybody matters, but I also believe that when somebody is in distress and struggling like the black community, they need that help now. They need that right now," said Josh Chamberlain.

Several protesters said they will be watching the closing arguments in Chauvin's trial closely in the coming days. The jury was expected to begin deliberation on the former officer's fate early next week.


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