National Moment of Silence held with goal to end police brutality

Posted at 9:38 PM, Aug 14, 2014
and last updated 2014-08-14 23:38:10-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- There has been unrest, riots, and no shortage of tension in Ferguson, Missouri after the police shooting death of an unarmed black teenager.

Thursday, a nationwide vigil and moment of silence was held to show support for victims of police brutality.

About 50 people donning red arm and wrist bands showed up to Thursday’s National Moment of Silence.

Co-Organizer Alasdair Ekpenyong said: "We're here to say, ‘no more of this.’ That this a pattern that is truly troubling and too familiar."

The pattern he says is police brutality.

"This event with Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, last week; Eric Garner in New York City; in Salt Lake City, Dillon Taylor; and in Chicago, Rekia Boyd, and countless more examples,” he said.

At Thursday's vigil were family members of Dillon Taylor, shot and killed Monday by a Salt Lake City police officer. Dillon's brother Jerrail Taylor spoke about the shooting.

"They see all of us walking out, three Hispanics walking out and they cornered us automatically,” he said. “All we did, 7-Eleven cameras will show, walk out with drinks--we get surrounded and my brother gets shot."

As part of the vigil, supporters read poems, sang hymns, and shared their thoughts about what is happening in Ferguson, Missouri, here in Utah, and beyond.

Karen Rodriguez said: "It's really important for us, and our generation, everybody to be aware of what is happening in our world because if we don't do anything nobody else will stand up for these people. If we don't put ourselves out there nothing will change."

Molly Barger adds, "We should actually trust these people not to hurt us and protect us but they're actually doing the opposite, and I think that for the people who have been hurt by these events we should just be there and show our respect and show our support."

During Thursday's vigil, FOX 13 News did not see any police officers or campus security guards. Three Salt Lake City officers are on paid administrative leave as the investigation into Taylor's shooting continues.