New images have cast light on the altercation at Saturday’s Black Lives Matter protests that led black activist Patrick Hutchinson to step in and rescue an injured white man.
The man appeared to be surrounded in a tense confrontation outside the Southbank Centre in London, in which some protesters tried to attack him while others tried to defuse the situation.
Mr Hutchinson, a personal trainer, previously said he first became involved when he saw an altercation at the stop of a staircase by the centre.
In an interview he said he scooped the man into a fireman’s lift to carry him to police because the situation ‘wasn’t going to end well’.
His friend Pierre Noah, a bodyguard and martial arts coach from Croydon, said people were ‘going to beat him up and stamp on him’.
Mr Hutchinson said Mr Noah and three other friends stepped in to create a barrier around the man.
Pictures of the man being confronted at locations away from the staircase suggest the altercation had started some time earlier and that other protesters had repeatedly tried to prevent it from escalating.
One protester appeared to try and stub a lit cigarette butt on the man’s head, while another may have slapped him.
He also ended up on the ground on another occasion where one protester appeared to try and help him up while another appeared to kick him in the back.
Mr Hutchinson and his friends, affiliated with protection group Ark Security, said they attended the protest to watch over young Black Lives Matter activists.
The grandfather added: ‘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.’
He said he believed George Floyd would still be alive today if the colleagues of the policeman who knelt on his neck during custody had taken the same attitude as his friends.
Boris Johnson’s chief spokesperson commended Mr Hutchinson’s bravery today, adding: ‘The images are very moving. Nobody should have to face vile racism and abuse.
‘I think Patrick Hutchinson’s instincts in that moment represent the best of us.’
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].
For more stories like this, check our news page.