Black Lives Matter: US Marine veteran protests all alone for three hours in 99-degree heat

Mayukh Bari09 June 2020 10:30AM IST
2 min read311

Retired US Marine Todd Winn protested supporting Black Lives Matter campaign in a very unique way. By kneeling in full dress uniform near the Utah State Capitol, he started his one-man silent protest. He has a piece of tape over his mouth with the words 'I can't breathe' written on it - the last word said by George Floyd. He was also holding up a sign which read: 'Justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tamir Rice, Countless Others.'

Floyd was the 46-year-old black man who died in the custody of Minneapolis police on May 25. Floyd's death ignited mass protests worldwide. In some cases, arson and looting have been reported across the country.

The Marine veteran drew the attention of passersby as he stood for three hours in the middle of the day in Salt Lake City. Wearing his two Purple Hearts, he dressed up in his uniform. At that time the temperature reached 99 degrees Fahrenheit. This scorching heat causes his shoes to melt.

Katie Steck, Winn's girlfriend, said that Friday was a 'day of silence' for him. She also told,

He has been very angered and appalled by the injustices that have been happening.

Winn was wounded in 2005 when a roadside bomb detonated while he was doing a tour of duty in Iraq. As a result, Winn sustained traumatic brain injuries that left him with chronic fatigue. Steck said Winn wanted to demonstrate how one can protest while still being patriotic.

In an interview with KUTV Winn said,

You know, until I left home and joined the Marine Corps, I didn't really understand that that was wrong. Until I served with men whose skin was a different colour than mine, who were the finest men that I've ever known, help me to learn that really we're all the same.