George Floyd's murder 'inexcusable', says British PM Boris Johnson

Edited By: Bharat Sharma WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Jun 03, 2020, 07:16 PM(IST)

Britain Prime Minister Boris Johnson Photograph:( AFP )

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Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday addressed the murder of George Floyd by the police in the US city of Minneapolis which has spurred a series of protests

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday addressed the murder of George Floyd by the police in the US city of Minneapolis which has spurred a series of protests, not only in the country, but across the world.

"I think what happened in the United States was appalling, inexcusable," Johnson said in the parliament.

"We all saw it on our screens and I perfectly understand people's right to protest what took place," he added. 

"Obviously I also believe that protests should take place in a lawful and reasonable way”, the PM said.

Also read: US protests defy curfews as Trump faces backlash for violent crackdown

However, Johnson was reluctant on commenting on Trump’s response and his thoughts on the same. Currently, the US is expected to make post-Brexit deal with the UK.

The murder has triggered protests across all US states, including major cities like New York and Los Angeles. Worldwide protests also followed in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Protesters chanting “I can’t breathe” with signs saying “Black Lives Matter” have flooded the streets. A lot of violence has also been reported, with police officers being shot at, and looting of stores caught in the storm.

Floyd, an unarmed African-American, died last week after a police officer in the US city Minneapolis knelt on his neck, an incident captured on video by a witness. The officer concerned has been charged with second-degree murder.

The artist Celos paints a mural in Downtown Los Angeles on May 30, 2020 in protest against the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died while while being arrested and pinned to the ground by the knee of a Minneapolis police officer.
The artist Celos paints a mural in Downtown Los Angeles on May 30, 2020 in protest against the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died while while being arrested and pinned to the ground by the knee of a Minneapolis police officer. | AFP
 

"We stand alongside all those across the globe who are appalled and horrified by the way George Floyd lost his life," British police chiefs also said in a statement.

"Justice and accountability should follow… We are also appalled to see the violence and damage that has happened in so many US cities since then”, the statement added.

The police chiefs appealed for people in Britain to "work with officers" as protests mount over Floyd's killing, just as a nationwide coronavirus lockdown is being eased.

"Britain is no stranger to racialised police violence," it noted.

"Black and minority ethnic people are disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system at every level, from arrests to stop and search, to imprisonment, to deaths in custody."

Also read: Mother of George Floyd's daughter demands justice; Minneapolis police faces probe

Floyd was accused of using a counterfeit 20 Dollar bill to buy cigarettes. When the police arrived, an officer Chauvin who has now been charged with murder, pinned him to the ground with his knee stationed on his neck, which led to his death.

It was only when bystanders insisted on checking his pulse, that the policeman let go, after which Floyd was escorted away in an ambulance. An hour later, he was pronounced dead.

Data compiled by “Mapping Police Violence” of all police killings in 2019 across the US reveals that black Americans are three times more likely to be killed during their interaction with the police than white Americans.

(With inputs from Reuters and AFP)

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