Utah Lawmakers Pass Bills In Response To Protests
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah House of Representatives and the Utah State Senate showed tremendous support for H.B. 5007 – the bill that bans knee-to-neck chokeholds.
This Utah bill, set to be signed into law by Gov. Gary Herbert, prohibits law enforcement agencies from teaching officers how to use chokeholds. Under the soon-to-be-law, officers will face up to a first-degree felony if the violation leads to someone’s death.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Sandra Hollins, Senate Majority Leader Evan Vickers, and Sen. Luz Escamilla came after numerous legislators called it a law for humanity – not party.
“I am thankful to these lawmakers of color who have helped me understand their lived experiences and fears, and why policy like this is needed.” Vickers said. “H.B. 5007 is just the first step.”
A spokesperson for the protestors told lawmakers the change can’t stop with just one bill.
“We know,” Hollins said. “That’s why we’re taking it from the streets and bringing it to the House. I cried, wept tears of relief, when this bill passed. We are making history. I know what it’s like to be scared. It’s been time to do something for a long while. The momentum is now.”
Hollins is the first African-American woman to serve in the Utah State Legislature.
On June 19, many around the state will recognize Juneteenth – the annual holiday commemorating the day when the last enslaved African-Americans were informed that they were free. Visit utahblackroundtable.org for details.
Flag Raising Ceremony
What: Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson will attend to raise the flag and present a proclamation; Rep. Sandra Hollins will speak.
Where: Salt Lake County Government Center, 2001 S. State St., Salt Lake City
When: 11:30 a.m.
Juneteenth Day! The State of Black Utah Town Hall
What: This year’s Mr. and Miss Juneteenth will be presented, followed by a conversation about “Mind, Body & Spirit: Black Mental Health in the Midst of Crisis” and how youth, young adults and emerging leaders are coping with racism and injustices.
Where: Online event via Zoom. Tickets can be requested here.
When: 6 p.m.
Livestream Juneteenth Concert: Joshy Soul & The Cool
What: Excellence in the Community and the Gallivan Center in Salt Lake City are hosting two livestreamed concerts to celebrate Juneteenth. Friday night’s concert will feature a performance from Joshy Soul & The Cool.
Where: Online event that can be watched at excellenceconcerts.org or facebook.com/excellenceinthecommunity/live.
When: 8 p.m.
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