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Black Lives Matter Utah urges independent civilian review of police brutality

Officer who knelt on George Floyd's neck before death is in custody, reports say
Posted at 12:18 PM, May 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-29 14:18:28-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah's Black Lives Matter chapter has started a petition calling for democratically-elected civilian review boards to be in charge of investigating police brutality in the United States.

"These boards must not include current police officers or relatives of police officers. The people on these boards must not be appointed by local Mayors, or Governors. We want the ability to vote for the members of these boards and have them give us the accountability and transparency which is needed to protect the people," the petition says.

Lex Scott, the founder of Black Lives Matter Utah, is seeking 100,000 signatures in support of a police reform bill. She started the petition after George Floyd, a black Minnesota man, died Monday while in police custody, sparking dozens of protests across the United States.

Scott said Black Lives Matter Utah will not hold a protest of its own.

"Although Black Lives Matter Utah stands in solidarity with Minneapolis and we hope for justice in this case, we will not be holding a protest. We use protest as a tool to achieve a clear goal. For example if we want body cam footage then we will do a protest," Scott said in a post on the Black Lives Matter Utah Facebook page.

Floyd was arrested Monday after a grocery store employee called the police to report someone trying to pass a counterfeit bill. A 10-minute video of Floyd’s arrest soon circulated online.

The video shot by a bystander shows a Minneapolis police officer pressing his knee on Floyd’s neck while the man gasps for air with his face against the pavement. Floyd then lost consciousness and was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Four officers involved in Floyd’s death have been fired by the Minneapolis Police Department, and many are calling for charges to be filed against them, including the city’s mayor.

Former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin was placed in custody by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and charged with murder.