U.S. Marine Veteran Stands Alone in Protest With Tape Over His Mouth That Reads 'I Can't Breathe' | Inside Edition

U.S. Marine Veteran Stands Alone in Protest With Tape Over His Mouth That Reads 'I Can't Breathe'

Robin Pendergrast
Robin Pendergrast

Winn, who has received a Purple Heart twice, stood outside in scorching weather alone for three hours.

A United States Marine veteran stood outside the Utah State Capitol to protest police brutality. Donning his dress blues, Todd Winn wore black tape over his mouth with the words “I can’t breathe,” written in white ink and held a sign that read “Justice for George Floyd,  Breonna Taylor, Tamir Rice, and countless others” who have killed by police brutality. 

Winn, who has received a Purple Heart twice, stood outside in scorching weather alone for three hours and a photographer who was driving by and saw Winn standing alone stopped to snap photos because he was struck by the sight.

“I knew that the statement he was making was pretty special for a lot of people,” Robin Pendergrast told Business Insider. "I had to get out and support him. Immediately, the respect was there.”

The photo was then shared to Reddit, where it went viral with thousands of comments. One of them was from Winn about why he chose to protest alone.

"I deliberately chose to treat this as an extended moment of silence, because the voices of so many non-whites are often not heard," Winn wrote. "I do not consider this a political issue, I consider it a human issue, and a global one at that.”

He added that his protest wasn’t in collaboration with any group, but he is in support of the "the inalienable rights and protections all Americans should expect to be provided."

"I swore to uphold those rights,” Winn said. "I hope it will be seen by individuals who would normally tune out the protesters and allow them to — at least for a moment — stop and consider what is really being asked for here.”

RELATED STORIES