SALT LAKE CITY — Tuesday marks one year since the death of George Floyd, a black father killed by a former Minneapolis police officer pressing a knee onto his neck and back.
“It has become not taboo to say the words ‘Black Lives Matter.’ It has become socially normal,” said Black Lives Matter Utah President Lex Scott.
Within a week of Floyd’s death, Utah lawmakers banned the use of knee-on-neck restraints.
Salt Lake City strengthened the use-of-force police policy, created an equity in policing commission while supplying officers with dozens of less-lethal weapons.
"I get really excited when we have policy changes. I am excited about that,” said Scott.
This year, Utah lawmakers passed 21 police reform laws. It includes collecting more data on police use-of-force and better training for officers. The NAACP Salt Lake Branch helped consult lawmakers, who passed 61 percent of bills related to police reform.
“The bills that were passed will make a difference but we still have more work to do,” said NAACP Salt Lake Branch President Jeanetta Williams.
Looking ahead, advocates want to see no-knock warrants banned in Utah, citizen review board of police. They plan to continue offering police officers a seat at the table.
“We have seen progress, especially working with law enforcement and not working against them,” said Williams.