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Protests Bring To Mind Police Shootings In Utah

The death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis spurred protests against racial injustice in Salt Lake City and around the world. But the incident has some Utahns thinking about the state’s own relationship between police and civilians.

Ashley Finley is a poet, a community organizer and a Black woman. She moved to Salt Lake City about seven years ago from Los Angeles. When she arrived, she felt Utah was calm compared to the big city.

“I remember there was a thought that I kept having that it’s really peaceful here,” Finley said. “There’s not a lot of violence, and people are generally well-meaning. There can be some cultural and racial ignorance. But overall, I feel like I’m living a very peaceful life.”

But the deaths of Patrick Harmon and Elijah Smith — two Black men who were killed by police a few years ago in Salt Lake County — shook her.

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