British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has condemned the killing of George Floyd in the United States. He said the case could not be ignored and the British government had to do more to fight prejudice towards people from black and minority ethnic groups.
On May 25, 2020 an unarmed African-American man Floyd died after a police officer in the US city Minneapolis knelt on his neck, an incident captured on video by a witness. More than 100,000 people took part in anti-racism protests around Britain over the weekend.
On Monday, Johnson in a video on Twitter said, “We who lead and who govern simply can’t ignore those feelings because in too many cases, I am afraid, they will be founded on a cold reality,”
He said Britain had made huge strides in tackling racism but it must also “frankly acknowledge that there is so much more to do – in eradicating prejudice, and creating opportunity”.
Demonstrators gather in large groups avoiding the rules of social distancing to stop the spread of coronavirus. In London, demonstrations happened peacefully with small groups, clashing with people. Dozens of police officers were injured and more than 100 people were arrested.
“I will not support those who flout the rules on social distancing … I will not support or indulge those who break the law or attack the police or desecrate public monuments,” Johnson said. He warned people who attacked public property or the police would “face the full force of the law”.
“They are hijacking a peaceful protest and undermining it in the eyes of many who might otherwise be sympathetic. And as a society, we can and must do better.”