Black Lives Matter protesters warned over social distancing

Monday, June 1, 2020

A former Metropolitan Police officer has warned against protesting during coronavirus lockdown after thousands marched across London to demand justice for George Floyd.

Sunday’s Black Lives Matter demonstration was organised after Mr Floyd, an unarmed black man, died after a white officer held him down by pressing a knee into his neck last week in Minneapolis.

Speaking with talkRADIO’s Mike Graham, ex-officer Chris Hobbs said the incident was “absolutely horrible” but urged protest leaders to discourage large-scale demonstrations given the coronavirus pandemic.

His comments came after Mike suggested London Mayor Sadiq Khan should tell organisations not to demonstrate in the midst of the public health crisis.

Mr Hobbs agreed, but added: “If Sadiq Khan did ban it, I suspect they’d turn up anyway.

“What you need are the Black Lives Matter people, the community leaders, the people who have maybe got some clout…responsibly they should be saying, this is not the time, we know your feelings, don’t do it.”

Mr Khan has not commented on the marches, but tweeted: “No country, city, police force or institution can be complacent about racism and the impact it has.

“Any accusations of excessive force used by police in London are taken extremely seriously by the Met Police and myself. The Met Police understand that community trust and engagement has to be continually and consistently earned and worked on together.”

A total of 23 people were arrested as a result of the London protest and they remain in custody, the Metropolitan Police have said.

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