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George Floyd death: Surprise at Trump Bible photo op stunt, says Belfast man and former St John's Church member

Echoes of Northern Ireland Troubles for expats living in US as protests and civil strife escalate

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Donald Trump holds a bible outside St John’s Church (Patrick Semansky/AP)

Donald Trump holds a bible outside St John’s Church (Patrick Semansky/AP)

AP/PA Images

Maria Friel and daughter Rionach live in New York

Maria Friel and daughter Rionach live in New York

Malcolm McDowell Woods is in Milwaukee

Malcolm McDowell Woods is in Milwaukee

Michael McDowell lives in Maryland

Michael McDowell lives in Maryland

Donald Trump holds a bible outside St John’s Church (Patrick Semansky/AP)

A Belfast man and former member of the church that US President Donald Trump staged his Bible photo op stunt has said it came as a complete surprise to some in the congregation.

People from Northern Ireland living in US cities rocked by clashes in the wake of George Floyd's killing have told of their shock as violence flares on the streets of a divided America.

Michael McDowell (68), originally from south Belfast, lives just outside Washington DC in Chestertown, Maryland, with his wife Susan. He has been in America for over 40 years.