In the era of COVID-19, it was only supposed to be a car caravan protest, as Utahns took to the streets to voice their outrage over the death of George Floyd. 

The original press release said, “We’ll begin the caravan around the block containing the SLCPD station at 11:30 am. We’ll go clockwise around the block. 5th South, then 3rd East, then 4th South, then 4th East, all right turns, then repeat. Honk as you pass the SLCPD station. We discourage anyone from participating in this demonstration unless they are in a vehicle.“

Related
Capturing up-close and personal impacts of COVID-19 in a social distancing Utah
Top Utah news stories of 2020: A year like no other
It was all hands on deck for the 2020 earthquake

But things changed quickly when the protesters left their cars to gather in person in solidarity.  

Western Kentucky University photojournalism student Ivy Ceballo was just starting the final month of her internship with the Deseret News and was one of the photographers assigned to the benign event.

“There was a lot of pain and outrage at what had happened. It was surprising to see this in Utah. Especially with me being a woman of color. Just knowing Utah is predominantly white. I didn’t think what the nation saw happening to George Floyd would have such a big impact in Salt Lake City,” she said.

“I remember a woman of color leading a chant at the protest. I remember tearing up hearing her speak,” Cabello said as she looked back on that day.

After a police car was flipped over and word spread that protesters might light it on fire, Cabello was trying to stay safe and alert.

“That’s the moment that shocked me,” she said.

Both Ceballo and staff photographer Jeff Allred were assigned to cover the protest. Originally assigned to a concert in Tooele, Allred was called off that event and rerouted to the unrest that was unfolding in downtown Salt Lake City.

“There was chaos like I’ve never seen. And I’ve been around the block. ... It was pandemonium,” recalled Allred about first arriving on scene.

“I thought, ‘This is a really big deal. This is a very unsafe situation.’ I feared for my safety,” he recalled.

“So to get the best pictures, I thought I should be between the protests and police. There was a small gap,” explained the veteran photographer entering his fourth decade covering news.

“I remember seeing a guy about to throw a water bottle at the police shortly after. It’s a reactionary thing so I’m shooting low and wide. I’m thinking I’m going to get hit. I was trying to keep my head on a swivel and watch both the police and protesters” Allred said.

As things literally heated up, we made the decision to bring in additional photographers, allowing those on scene to safely get back to their vehicles where they could edit on their laptops and electronically send their images into our system to publish immediately to the web.

Throughout the afternoon and into the evening, they photographed while dodging airborne debris being hurled in the direction of the police. They documented the fights that broke out, often just feet from them. And eventually they photographed the final push by police to disperse the unruly crowd, often being in harm’s way between law enforcement and the protesters.

These are just a few of the many powerful images they captured during the protest on that fateful day and in the days and week of protests following that.  

People kneel as they protest police brutality in Salt Lake City on Saturday, May 30, 2020. Daylong protests moved across the city Saturday after a peaceful demonstration to decry the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis turned violent.
People kneel as they protest police brutality in Salt Lake City on Saturday, May 30, 2020. Daylong protests moved across the city Saturday after a peaceful demonstration to decry the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis turned violent. | Ivy Ceballo, Deseret News
A protester holds a sign while sitting atop a light post at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Saturday, May 30, 2020. Protesters joined others across the nation to decry the death of George Floyd, a Black man, who died while being taken into custody by police in Minneapolis earlier this week. Video showed an officer kneeling on his neck while he implored, “I can’t breathe.” | Ivy Ceballo, Deseret News
JC Hamilton speaks to a police officer while protesting police brutality in Salt Lake City on Saturday, May 30, 2020. Hamilton went down the line and asked officers if they have ever had dinner with a Black family, if officers responded no, he asked for their contact information to invite them to his home for dinner. | Ivy Ceballo, Deseret News
Eli Herrera and his children, Anthony, 11, and Jazmyne, 12, a pictured during a protest against police brutality in Salt Lake City on Saturday, May 30, 2020. Daylong protests moved across the city Saturday after a peaceful demonstration to decry the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis turned violent. | Ivy Ceballo, Deseret News
A man sprays water on another man wearing a Donald Trump flag in Salt Lake City on Saturday, May 30, 2020, as people protest the death of George Floyd, who died while being taken into custody by police in Minneapolis earlier this week. | Spenser Heaps, Deseret News
Brandon McCormick is pulled from his car and beaten by protesters after brandishing a bow and arrow at a protest in Salt Lake City on Saturday, May 30, 2020. | Laura Seitz, Deseret News
A police officer pulls Brandon McCormick from an angry crowd after shooting a bow and arrow at protesters in Salt Lake City on Saturday, May 30, 2020. | Laura Seitz, Deseret News
Protesters flip a car in downtown Salt Lake City while protesting police brutality on Saturday, May 30, 2020. Protesters joined others across the nation to decry the death of George Floyd, a Black man, who died while being taken into custody by police in Minneapolis earlier this week. | Spenser Heaps, Deseret News
A man leaps out of the way as people smash the windows of a passing police car in downtown Salt Lake City on Saturday, May 30, 2020. Protesters joined others across the nation to decry the death of George Floyd, a Black man, who died while being taken into custody by police in Minneapolis earlier this week. | Spenser Heaps, Deseret News
A fight breaks out after a man, pictured in gas mask, tried to steal a flag that protesters were starting to burn in downtown Salt Lake City on Saturday, May 30, 2020. | Spenser Heaps, Deseret News
A protester screams in Salt Lake City on Saturday, May 30, 2020. | Laura Seitz, Deseret News
Police and protesters clash near Library Square in Salt Lake City on Saturday, May 30, 2020. Protesters joined others across the nation to decry the death of George Floyd, a Black man, who died while being taken into custody by police in Minneapolis earlier this week. | Laura Seitz, Deseret News
A protester raises her arms while protesting police brutality in Salt Lake City on Saturday, May 30, 2020. Protesters joined others across the nation to decry the death of George Floyd, a Black man , who died while being taken into custody by police in Minneapolis earlier this week. | Laura Seitz, Deseret News
People take photos of a damaged police car as they protest police brutality in Salt Lake City on Saturday, May 30, 2020. Protesters joined others across the nation after George Floyd, a Black man in Minnesota, died at the hands of police on Memorial Day. | Ivy Ceballo, Deseret News
A police car is engulfed in flames as people protest police brutality in Salt Lake City on Saturday, May 30, 2020. Protesters joined others across the nation to decry the death of George Floyd, a black man , who died while being taken into custody by police in Minneapolis earlier this week. Video showed an officer kneeling on his neck while he implored, “I can’t breathe.”
A police car is engulfed in flames as people protest police brutality in Salt Lake City on Saturday, May 30, 2020. Protesters joined others across the nation to decry the death of George Floyd, a Black man, who died while being taken into custody by police in Minneapolis earlier this week. Video showed an officer kneeling on his neck while he implored, “I can’t breathe.” | Ivy Ceballo, Deseret News
A protester holding a “No Justice No Peace” sign walks past a burning car in downtown Salt Lake City on Saturday, May 30, 2020. Protesters joined others across the nation to decry the death of George Floyd, a Black man, who died while being taken into custody by police in Minneapolis earlier this week. | Spenser Heaps, Deseret News
A man screams after getting hit by a rubber bullet as people protest police brutality in Salt Lake City on Saturday, May 30, 2020. Protesters joined others across the nation to decry the death of George Floyd, a Black man, who died while being taken into custody by police in Minneapolis earlier this week. | Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
An officer pushes a demonstrator away after he used a bullhorn to yell in the officer’s face during a protest at the Pubic Safety Building in Salt Lake City on Monday, June 1, 2020. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Members of the Utah National Guard block an entrance to City Creek Center in Salt Lake City on Monday, June 1, 2020. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Salt Lake Police officer Metui Tautuaa is the only officer to take a knee as a crowd of protesters yell and plead for officers to take a knee with them, in solidarity against police brutality and racism, after a Party for Socialism and Liberation rally moved to the Salt Lake City Public Safety Building in Salt Lake City on Monday, June 1, 2020. | Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
A police officer is hit with a bottle of water as police try to enforce a curfew and clear protesters out of downtown Salt Lake City on Monday, June 1, 2020. Recent protests against police brutality, racial discrimination and the killing of George Floyd turned violent in Salt Lake City and other cities across the nation, prompting Gov. Gary Herbert to call in the Utah National Guard. | Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
Officers in riot gear position themselves on State Street in Salt Lake City as they disperse a large group of demonstrators on Monday, June 1, 2020. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Over 1,000 demonstrators lie down for eight minutes in remembrance of George Floyd during a peaceful protest at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, June 3, 2020. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Phaya sits among all other demonstrators during a protest on Presidents Circle at the University of Utah on Wednesday, June 3, 2020. Over 1,000 demonstrators turned out to protest the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
National Guard troops stand on the steps of the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Thursday, June 4, 2020, as thousands gather across the street to protest racism, police brutality and the killing of George Floyd. | Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
Julius Rowe Jr., 4, joins thousands to protest racism, police brutality and the killing of George Floyd near the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Thursday, June 4, 2020. | Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
Desmond Kanelos yells a chant during a protest against racism, police brutality and the killing of George Floyd near the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Thursday, June 4, 2020. | Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
People march down State Street from the Capitol to the Salt Lake City Public Safety Building to protest racism, police brutality and the death of George Floyd in Salt Lake City on Friday, June 5, 2020. | Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
University of Utah Health workers join health care professionals from across the country in a moment of silent reflection and commitment to improve the health and safety of people of color as they take a knee for their patients, colleagues, family, friends and entire community outside of the College Nursing on the University of Utah campus in Salt Lake City on Friday, June 5, 2020. | Steve Griffin, Deseret News
Abdul Afridi, of the Islamic Society of Salt Lake, left, hugs Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown after a rally outside of the police station in Salt Lake City on Saturday, June 6, 2020. The intent of the rally was to show the struggles of the Black community and the support of local law enforcement. | Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Mohamed Baayd and others with Black Lives Matter Utah protest at the City-County Building in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, June 10, 2020. | Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Alex Hill holds a flag while he speaks as skateboarders protest at the state Capitol during an event called Skate for Solidarity in Salt Lake City on Thursday, June 11, 2020. The protesters joined others across the nation to decry racism and police brutality after the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died while being taken into custody by police in Minneapolis. | Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Demonstrators march on State Street during a Solidarity for Justice protest in Salt Lake City on Friday, June 19, 2020. | Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
“Blue Rally” attendees and protesters against police violence clash at a rally to support law enforcement at Washington Square in Salt Lake City on Saturday, June 20, 2020. | Laura Seitz, Deseret News
Macky, who did not provide a last name, holds his fist high for 8 minutes and 46 seconds as protesters lie down during a rally in Provo on Wednesday, July 1, 2020. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Counterprotesters stand and watch as another group of protesters gather across the street in Provo on Wednesday, July 1, 2020. The two groups were peaceful during the protest. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Police comfront Justice for Bernardo protesters in Salt Lake City on Thursday, July 9, 2020. | Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Heather, who did not provide a last name, from Patriots Prepared, and Rae Duckworth, of Black Lives Matter, debate outside of the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Saturday, July 18, 2020. One group of protesters had met to oppose police brutality and to call for Gov. Gary Herbert to repeal HB415; they were met by a small group of counterprotesters. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Gabriel Pecoraro fights with police after police and marchers collided in the streets of Cottonwood Heights on Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020. The group was marching on 6710 South when police blocked them at Cristobal Street and a confrontation ensued. Police said eight or nine protesters were arrested. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Police and protesters collided in the streets of Cottonwood Heights on Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020. The group was marching on 6710 South when police blocked them at Cristobal Street and a confrontation ensued. Police said eight or nine protesters were arrested. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Aaron James is taken into custody after police and marchers collided in the streets of Cottonwood Heights on Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020. The group was marching on 6710 South when police blocked them at Cristobal Street and a confrontation ensued. Police said eight or nine protesters were arrested. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Artists put the final touches on a Black Lives Matter mural outside of the Salt Lake City-County Building in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. | Spenser Heaps, Deseret News
A Trump supporter and a Biden supporter argue prior to the vice presidential debate between Vice President Mike Pence and his Democratic rival, California Sen. Kamala Harris, at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020. | Laura Seitz, Deseret News
Sierra McGee-Whinnery, a supporter of former Vice President Joe Biden, sits surrounded by backers of President Donald Trump on the steps of the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020. Earlier Saturday, news outlets declared Biden the winner of the presidential election. | Spenser Heaps, Deseret News