Dominic Raab appeals for US not to 'tear itself apart' over Floyd case

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab appeals for US not to ‘tear itself apart’ over ‘distressing’ George Floyd case as he refuses to criticise Donald Trump

  • Protests sweeping the US after death of George Floyd while in police custody 
  • Dominic Raab said footage of Mr Floyd’s treatment by police ‘very distressing’
  • But he urged the US to ‘come together’ and declined to criticise Donald Trump

Dominic Raab today appealed for the US not to ‘tear itself apart over the George Floyd case as he refused to criticise Donald Trump’s handling. 

The Foreign Secretary said footage showing the treatment of Mr Floyd, who was black and died after a white police officer knelt on his neck in Minneapolis, was ‘very distressing’.

But he insisted he would not comment on the backlash against Donald Trump’s response to a wave of furious protests across the US, merely saying he wanted the country to ‘come back together not tear itself apart’. 

Ex-policeman Derek Chauvin has been charged with murdering Mr Floyd, 46. 

Demonstrations have even been taking place in London, with many people ignoring coronavirus lockdown restrictions to make their anger known. 

The President has been condemned from some quarters after posting on social media that ‘looting leads to shooting’. 

A Chicago police vehicle is set on fire during violent protests in the city last night 

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab (pictured on the BBC’s Marr Show today) said he wanted the US to ‘come back together not tear itself apart’

George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died on Memorial Day as he was arrested by four police officers over allegedly trying to buy cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill. He was seen in a video pleading that he couldn’t breathe as white officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee against his neck

Mr Trump tweeted: ‘Looting leads to shooting, and that’s why a man was shot and killed in Minneapolis on Wednesday night – or look at what just happened in Louisville with 7 people shot. I don’t want this to happen, and that’s what the expression put out last night means.’

He also appeared to cheer the tougher tactics being used by the National Guard as protests spread across America.

Last night Mr Trump commended the Guard deployment in Minneapolis, declaring ‘No games!’, and also said police in New York City ‘must be allowed to do their job!’.

Hundreds of people have taken to the streets in protest across the US in recent days, with more than 1,300 having been arrested in 16 cities since Thursday night.

In Washington, the National Guard was deployed outside the White House to deal with protesters.

Asked about Mr Trump’s response, Mr Raab told Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday: ‘I’m not going to start commenting on the commentary or indeed the press statements that other world leaders make, or indeed the US president.

‘Footage of what happened to George Floyd was very distressing, as has been the scenes across America of the rioting and some of the violence.

‘And what we do know is that the lead suspect has now been charged with murder, there is a federal review and we want to see de-escalation of all of those tensions and American come together.’

Later on the BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show, Mr Raab added: ‘I’ve long kept to the self-imposed guidance not to comment on what President Trump says or indeed other world leaders, it is not really what my job is.’

Mr Raab said he wanted to see the US ‘come back together not tear itself apart over this, and of course that is a very distressing and upsetting case’. 

Mr Raab insisted he would not comment on the backlash against Donald Trump’s response to a wave of furious protests across the US

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