| 9.9°C Belfast

How the killing of George Floyd led to protests worldwide

George Floyd

The killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, in Minneapolis, by Derek Chauvin - a white police officer who knelt on Floyd's neck for over eight minutes - sparked international condemnation and anger.

The killing on May 25 led to weeks of protests across the United States.

Some were marred by violence and looting.

Others saw the targeting of statues perceived to be symbols of slavery.

Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests then went global, with London witnessing its first three days later on May 28, when restrictions on public gatherings were in place.

Belfast saw its first major gathering on June 3, with around 2,000 supporters congregating at City Hall.

Further protests, where social distancing took place, were held in Belfast and Londonderry that weekend.

Between 60 and 70 BLM supporters were issued fines.

As the backlash grew, a statue of Bristol slave trader Edward Colston was toppled by anti-racism protesters and a statue of wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill was also targeted.

The incidents prompted counter protests in London, with people - some from the far right of the political spectrum - gathering in the capital to protect war memorials and other monuments.

In Northern Ireland, the Northern Ireland Cenotaph Protection Group (NICPG) issued a statement saying it would hold a 'protect our war memorial' rally at Belfast City Hall in anticipation of another BLM protest.

On June 13 several hundred people gathered at City Hall.

Pictured at the event were former Britain First deputy leader Jayda Fransen and ex-Belfast councillor Jolene Bunting, who has been linked to the far right group but has always denied being a member.

No fines were issued at the event, prompting accusations that the PSNI treated the events differently.

The PSNI insisted that evidence was gathered at the event and prosecutions can still be made.

The matter was later referred to the Police Ombudsman.

Yesterday, BLM supporter Cuthbert Tura Arutura, voluntarily attended a police interview in relation to attending two Belfast events.

Belfast Telegraph