Marine veteran Shane Brooks knelt in silence for nine hours in front of the Utah State Capitol to raise awareness about racial injustices and mental illness, according to Salt Lake City’s ABC affiliate.
“Oftentimes people of color with mental illness are looked at as if they have already committed a crime and it leads to their death at the hands of the police,” he said, the ABC affiliate reported. (RELATED: Louisville And Other Cities Considering Declaration That Racism Is A Public Health Crisis)
Brooks said he was inspired by the 2019 police-involved shooting of Bobby Ray Duckworth, the ABC affiliate reported. An officer was responding to reports of a suicidal individual when Duckworth approached him with two knives, according to Deseret News. The policeman shot Duckworth, who was 26-years-old.
“When I first heard his story it touched me because I have had a very similar story to Bobby’s. I’ve been very suicidal myself and I’ve had run-ins with police but I’m still here I’ve been able to get taken to the help I needed,” Brooks said. “One person can make just as powerful as an impact as 1,000 people if done in the right way.”
Brooks’s demonstration comes after protests and riots sparked across the country in response to George Floyd’s death during an arrest and the officer-involved shooting of medical technician Breonna Taylor.
Protests against police brutality continue in downtown Salt Lake where the Utah State Capitol Building has been vandalized. pic.twitter.com/22rYjdvo85
— KSL (@KSLcom) May 30, 2020
The Utah Capitol Building was vandalized by during protests in May, according to KSL.com.
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