The organiser of a London-based protection group who were pictured saving a white man during a far-right protest, said they ‘just did what we could’ to save his life.
Pierre Noah, 47, who heads up protection group Ark Security, admitted that if his team had not rescued the injured man, he would have ‘one hundred percent’ been at risk of losing his life. His friend Patrick Hutchinson, a Black Lives Matter supporter, has been widely hailed a hero after an image emerged of him carrying the injured man – who was identified by the crowd as a far-right protester – over his shoulder to safety.
Mr Hutchinson, who said last night he just wants ‘equality for all,’ waded in to rescue the man during violent protests in central London on Saturday. Mr Hutchinson, a personal trainer and grandfather, was at the scene with friends who formed the protection group to protect young BLM protesters amid fears the far-right rally would turn violent.
Mr Noah, a martial arts teacher and security guard from Croydon, told Good Morning Britain: ‘We went up there obviously to oversee young boys, because we knew it was going to get out of hand.
‘I formed a team to go up there, of adults… I thought we need to go up there and help the police and help our community at the same time.’
With just five members of the team at the scene, Mr Noah said they had a big job on their hands but were determined to help out.
‘It’s a shame there wasn’t enough of us, so we just did what we could,’ added Mr Noah.
He said he had been focusing on another violent incident happening just before, when he turned around and saw Mr Hutchinson picking up the man.
The group had surrounded the injured man on the floor to protect him from further harm as animosity ensued among far-right and anti-racist protesters.
Mr Hutchinson carried the injured man over his shoulder while the others formed a barrier around them, before handing him to nearby police officers.
The white man did not say a word to them and the group have not spoken to or seen him since.
When asked why they helped, Mr Noah later told PA: ‘If we didn’t do that I wouldn’t like to think what would have happened to the poor guy.
‘We wanted to save his life and save the Black Lives Matter campaign as well.’
‘We were ready to help anyone, no matter what their colour, it’s for the right purpose,’ Mr Noah added.
Mr Noah, Mr Hutchinson and their team members Jamaine Facey, Lee Russell and Chris Otokito, said they saw the man being dragged by young protesters as the crowds of people became ‘almost like a stampede’.
Mr Hutchinson told Channel 4: ‘There were people trying to protect him, but unsuccessfully. And then the guys went in there, they sort of put a little cordon around him to stop him receiving any more physical harm. He was under physical harm. His life was under threat.
‘And whilst they did that I thought, “well if he stays here he’s not going to make it”. So I just went under, scooped him up and put him on my shoulders and sort of started marching towards the police with him whilst all the guys were sort of surrounding me and protecting me and the guy I had on my shoulder.
‘I could actually feel strikes and hits as I was carrying him, so these guys were probably taking some of that themselves on their person.’
Mr Hutchinson said he wished the white cops who stood by as George Floyd was dying intervened in the same way as he and his friends did to save the man. He said Mr Floyd, a father, would ‘still be alive today’ if they had acted accordingly.
Mr Floyd died after white police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes during an arrest in Minneapolis on May 25. Chauvin was later charged with murder, while three other officers at the scene were charged with aiding and abetting murder.
Mr Hutchinson added: ‘I just want equality for all of us. At the moment the scales are unfairly balanced and I just want things to be fair, for my children and my grandchildren.’
A total of 23 police officers were injured in the protests, after hundreds of demonstrators of mostly white men, attended the protest organised by far-right groups. They claimed they wanted to protect statues such as that of Winston Churchill from vandalism.
But the demonstration escalated after hundreds of self-proclaimed ‘statue defenders’ took over areas near the Palace of Westminster and Trafalgar Square and hurled missiles, smoke grenades, glass bottles and flares at police officers.
An official BLM protest that was planned to take place on the same day had been cancelled following reports that a far-right protest was set to be held.
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