UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday told to US President Donald Trump that racist violence has no place in society, saying he was “sickened and appalled” by the death of George Floyd during an arrest.
PM Johnson said, “My message to President Trump, to everybody in the United States, from the UK…, and I’m sure it’s an opinion shared by the overwhelming majority of people around the world, is that racism, racist violence has no place in our society”.
George Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American, was handcuffed and pinned to the ground in Minneapolis on May 25 by a white police officer who kneeled on his neck as he gasped for breath.
Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets from Seattle to New York, demanding tougher murder charges and more arrests over the death of Floyd.
The protests turned violent across the US that left at least five people dead and over 4,000 people arrested.
Trump on Monday said that he was deploying thousands of “heavily armed” soldiers and police to prevent further protests in Washington, where buildings and monuments have been vandalized near the White House.
Trump and Johnson held a telephonic conversation last Friday and discussed the global response to coronavirus.
Both the leaders had also talked about the next G7 summit scheduled to be held in Washington in June, stressing the “importance of leaders meeting in the US in person if possible”.
On Tuesday, Former President of US, George W Bush and his wife had condemned the incident, saying “Laura and I are anguished by the brutal suffocation of George Floyd and disturbed by the injustice and fear that suffocate our country. Yet we have resisted the urge to speak out, because this is not the time for us to lecture. It is time for us to listen”.
Police and protesters clashed in numerous cities including Chicago and New York, with officers responding to projectiles with pepper spray while shop windows were smashed in Philadelphia.
Most of the shops in downtown Manhattan have had plywood installed over their windows and entrances, and workers were boarding up more shops on Tuesday afternoon, bracing for another potentially violent night.
Last Friday, Barack Obama had expressed the “anguish” of millions of Americans over the death of a black man and said racism cannot be “normal” in the United States.
Earlier, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden condemned the incident and said, “We have to ensure that the Floyd family receive the justice they are entitled to”.
One week after Floyd died in Minneapolis, an autopsy blamed his videotaped death squarely on a white police officer who pinned him down by the neck with his knee for nearly nine minutes as Floyd pleaded, “I can’t breathe!”
The unrest has been the most widespread in the United States since 1968, when cities went up in flames over the slaying of civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr, and rekindled memories of 1992 riots in Los Angeles after police were acquitted in the brutal beating of black motorist Rodney King.