Black Lives Matter protest fills Trafalgar Square over George Floyd killing

  • london
  • May 31, 2020
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Hundreds of activists have taken to the streets of London in protest against the death of a black man restrained by police in the US.

George Floyd, 46, died after white officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for eight minutes during an arrest on Monday in Minneapolis. In that time, Mr Floyd, who was unarmed, repeatedly begged for Chauvin to stop, telling him he couldn’t breathe. He was pronounced dead about an hour later.

His death has sparked Black Lives Matter protests across the globe, with more than 1,600 people arrested across 22 cities in America. In London today, crowds of people held signs reading ‘Justice for George’ and ‘Rest in Power’ as they headed to Trafalgar Square.

At 1pm, they knelt down in tribute to Mr Floyd. Anyone unable to attend was also urged to kneel in solidarity wherever they could.

Some demonstrators also marched to the gates of Downing Street with their placards calling for justice. More protests across the UK have been planned for the coming weeks despite lockdown restrictions remaining in place.

Earlier today the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, tweeted: ‘Lockdown has not been lifted. The virus is still out there’ as he advised people to stay at home, social-distance and avoid public transport.

Chauvin, who has since been found to have 18 prior complaints filed against him, has been charged with murder and will appear in court on Monday.

He and three other officers involved in Mr Floyd’s death have also been sacked by the Minneapolis Police Department. One of the other officers also had six complaints filed against him, one of which is still ongoing, CNN reports.

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Earlier today Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said video footage of Mr Floyd’s death was ‘very distressing’, but would not comment on President Donald Trump’s response to the widespread protests sparked by the killing.

The president has been heavily criticised for tweeting that ‘looting leads to shooting’. He later attempted to clarify his words by further writing: ‘Looting leads to shooting, and that’s why a man was shot and killed in Minneapolis on Wednesday night – or look at what just happened in Louisville with 7 people shot. I don’t want this to happen, and that’s what the expression put out last night means.’

Mr Raab told Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday: ‘I’m not going to start commenting on the commentary or indeed the press statements that other world leaders make, or indeed the US president.

‘What we do know is that the lead suspect has now been charged with murder, there is a federal review and we want to see de-escalation of all of those tensions and American come together.’

For more information about Black Lives Matter protests click here.

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