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Outrage after Utah woman at an anti-mask protest compares herself to George Floyd


‘We also can’t breathe’: Anti-mask protester in Utah sparks outrage by comparing George Floyd’s death at the hands of cops to wearing a face covering

  • Shauna Kinville of St George, Utah, likened herself to George Floyd
  • Speaking at an August anti-mask rally, she said she – like him – couldn’t breathe
  • ‘We’re wearing a mask and saying “I can’t breathe” – but we’re forced to’ she said
  • Kinville’s comments sparked outrage on social media
  • Valerie Jarrett, Obama’s former advisor, said her comments were ‘appalling’

By Harriet Alexander For

Published: | Updated:

A Utah woman has sparked outrage after likening herself having to wear a face mask  to the police killing of George Floyd, because she says she, like him, ‘can’t breathe’.

Shauna Kinville of St George was interviewed by a local TV station at the August 21 rally, and said that Floyd’s dying words, uttered as he lay beneath a police officer’s knee, resonated with her.

George Floyd was saying, “I can’t breathe,” and then he died,’ said Kinville. 

‘Now we’re wearing a mask and saying “I can’t breathe” – but we’re being forced to wear them.’ 

Shauna Kinville of St George, Utah, likened herself to George Floyd because she ‘can’t breathe’

George Floyd died in Minneapolis on May 25 when Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck

Floyd, 46, died on May 25 after a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on his neck during arrest for almost nine minutes.

Floyd, who was handcuffed on suspicion of using a counterfeit $20 bill, begged repeatedly for his life, calling for his mother and telling Chauvin he couldn’t breathe, before falling unconscious.

Kinville’s comments were circulating widely on social media, with the clip from ABC4 being viewed 8.2 million times by an astonished audience.

George Floyd’s dying words as his neck was knelt on were ‘I can’t breathe’

‘This has to be an SNL skit. It just has to be,’ said baseball commentator Jared Carrabis.

John Sipher, a former CIA agent and commentator, agreed, saying: ‘This has to be fake. Please, please…’ 

Others were furious. 

Valerie Jarrett, a former senior adviser to Barack Obama, tweeted: ‘No words to describe how appalling this is.’

‘The nerve of these people,’ said one.

Another remarked: ‘BREAKING: Shauna Kinville qualifies for the 2020 “Most ridiculous comment on Twitter” Championship. Wow, what a moron.’

Amid the uproar, one man commented: ‘I would not like to be Shauna Kinville today. I honestly can’t believe someone would go on the news and actually say something so stupid.’

Another woman described the episode as profoundly depressing, and a damning indictment of the United States.  

‘This is depressing. I cannot even begin to address the George Floyd comment – no logic at all. The level of selfishness and self centered behavior…’ she said.

‘Other countries are looking at the US, pointing and laughing. Our passports will basically be trash.’

Former CIA agent John Sipher said he couldn’t believe her remarks were real

Baseball commentator Carrabis said he couldn’t believe Kinville’s comments were real

Barack Obama’s former adviser weighed in on the controversy

Brian Griffin said he was astonished Kinville would publicly ‘say something so stupid’

One Twitter user described Kinville as ‘a moron’

Social media erupted after the clip of Kinville went viral

Around a thousand people turned up at the August 21 march, waving placards and protesting their liberty to ignore face mask guidelines.

‘If we want to wear a mask, that’s fine, but we can take care of ourselves,’ said Stephen Millet, of Veyo, Utah. 

‘We don’t need the government telling us what we can and can’t do.’ 

A child confidently tells ABC4 that COVID-19 is no worse than the flu.

‘Let me tell you why I hate masks, they’re contaminated,’ said Betty Jake. 

‘And because most child predators, most child molesters love them.’ 

Protesters on August 21 accused the government of using fear to tyrannize the population

Around a thousand people gathered on August 21 to protest a mask ruling

A child at the August 21 protest holds up a ‘No Mask’ sign in St George, Utah


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