The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, says he was 'angry, sad and frustrated' when he saw the footage of George Floyd being restrained by three police officers in America.
Floyd's death has sparked massive protests against racism and police brutality across the US and right here in the UK.
Speaking on Colourful Radio, Sadiq Khan, said he couldn’t watch the entire video and has called for better understanding from those outside the Black community.
He said: “I think it is right and proper that those who aren’t Black are being educated by Black people about what it means to be a Black person particularly in America, London and the UK.”
He went on to say: “The reality is if you are Black, you are more likely to be on the receiving end of racism, discrimination and inequality.”
He also acknowledged that the Metropolitan Police is not perfect but insisted there has been massive progress since the Stephen Lawrence inquiry. He said: “The police force we have today is very different from the police we had in the 1990s.”
The Mayor also stressed that work still needs to continue to make things better, he said: “We need to make sure more Black officers are recruited and that there is good accountability from stop and search, to arrests and enforcement.”
He also added that the recommendations made by MP David Lammy in his report into discrimination in Criminal Justice System needed to be fulfilled.
Speaking about the solidarity protests in London, he said:
“Social distancing is still important because we are in the middle of a pandemic but what is impressive is thousands of Londoners have protested peacefully. “
He said he was inspired by the number of young Londoners who took to the streets to make their voices heard.
The Mayor also recalled being in his early 20s when he saw the beating of Rodney King by police in Los Angeles, in 1991. He said: “I thought after Rodney King this would never happen again and it has several times. But I am hopeful with this new generation saying enough is enough, things will change.”
Colourful Radio listener Chipo had the opportunity to put his question to the Mayor. Chipo wanted to know if videos of police incidents here in the UK are properly, if at all, investigated.
In response, The Mayor urged the Black community to report any potential police misconduct, so it can be investigated: “Report the videos and incidents so justice can occur.”
The Mayor also acknowledged the brutal death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and said he hoped it would be “a catalyst for meaningful and long-lasting change.”
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