Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude
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Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude

Utah Deputy Tries to Catch Black Suspect While Wielding a Lasso

The officer said later they were just making a joke.

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Image for article titled Utah Deputy Tries to Catch Black Suspect While Wielding a Lasso
Screenshot: KSL (Fair Use)

A sheriff’s deputy in Grand County, Utah was caught on body camera twirling a lasso as she looked for a Black shoplifting suspect, per KSL TV News. In the audio, she insists there was no problem with it. However, Black residents and activists said watching the video took them back to the days fugitive slaves were escaping those same ropes.

The July 2022 incident has only recently caught the attention of local residents. The report says Sheriff’s Deputy Amanda Edwards was one of a few officers looking for a Black homeless man accused of stealing a pair of sunglasses from a gift shop. As Edwards made her pursuit, she wielded a rope as if she’s a runaway slave catcher.

Per the footage, a fellow deputy sees her and says, “That’s going to look really bad, if you use that.” To which she responds, “Better than a Taser.”


One bystander asked, “Are you going to lasso him?”

“That was my plan, man. I mean, it’s better than running, right?” Edwards responds in the video.

She didn’t stop there. Upon passing a Utah Highway Patrol trooper, she says, “I’ve been waiting for this moment for quite some time,” per the report. The trooper offered to help corner the man so Edwards could catch him with the rope. Then, Edwards had the nerve to be shocked that bystanders were recording her and taking pictures. “Dude, so many people took pictures of me with my rope. What are they going to say?”

Read locals’ reactions to this incident from KSL TV:

They never caught up to him, and that’s fortunate, said Jeanetta Williams, president of the NAACP’s Salt Lake branch.

Any black visitors or residents who came across the deputy “could literally have a heart attack, because they would flash back to the lynchings that went on,” Williams said. “This isn’t a rodeo, and this is no way to apprehend a human being.”

“I can’t see anybody watching it and saying they don’t see a problem with it, especially when they know the history of, you know, the rope, the lynching of African Americans, all of that,” Williams said.

Rae Duckworth, operating chairperson of Black Lives Matter Utah, agreed.

“This triggers generational trauma for me,” Duckworth said through tears as she watched the video. “That’s what slave patrol does. And we’re in 2022. And that’s a comfortable slave patroller in my state.”


Apparently deputies in rural counties carry ropes to round up stray livestock. So, Edwards found it clever to treat a human being like an animal. It wasn’t just her either. Her colleagues enabled it as well. According to the report, Edwards faced some discipline but Grand County Sheriff Steven White insisted her actions were not racially motivated.

What else can you call it besides racism? I’ve read a couple of think-pieces about how white people may have generational curses related to their slave master-ancestors. Situations like this make the conspiracy worth believing. This year, we’ve seen plenty of white people treat Black folks as if it was the 1800s, officers included. Considering the cry for police reform and criminal justice during summer 2020, this county’s sheriff’s department is still stuck at the premiere of Birth of a Nation (1915).


Mario Mathis from Black Lives Matter Utah told KSL a slap on the wrist isn’t going to be enough to mend this issue.

“This is post-George Floyd. That’s when white people in America seemingly woke up and realized that there was a disconnect in the way that police officers treat Black people and people of color, versus white people,” he said.