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'Black life has been devalued': Bishop condemns US response to George Floyd protests

by Heather Preston

A UK bishop has criticised the US Government for its response to protests that have swept the country following the death of an unarmed black man.

Thousands of people took to the streets for a sixth day of demonstrations on Sunday, which has seen cars and buildings burned and shops looted across 30 American cities.

The protests began in Minneapolis following the death 46-year old George Floyd who died after a white police officer knelt on his neck.

President Trump has been criticised after warning that "looting leads to shooting" on Twitter, while many across the nation called for protesters to be "calm".

Bishop Dr Joe Aldred of Churches Together in England has called these comments "inappropriate" and argues that the protests are a natural response to such injustice.

Speaking to Premier he said: "I find it difficult to join that chorus of calm. You cannot murder somebody and then tell those around him to be reasonable.

"To see a man murdered in cold blood in broad daylight is shocking."

Aldred explains that Floyd's death is not an isolated incident and that people are crying out for change.

"What we've seen is that the black life in the eyes of a racist, white system has been devalued - it tells a tale of a story that has been running for centuries. It is truly sad."

"There is no peace, without justice. And so, one needs to look not just at the tragic killing, yet another killing, of George Floyd. One has to look at the system, the unjust system within which that operates.

Aldred has urged the church to join him in calling for change to a system that "allows somebody to kill a black man in broad daylight, and apparently feel that he's just doing his job. May God help us."

Ex-policeman Derek Chauvin has been charged with the murder of George Floyd and is due to appear in court on Monday.

Three other officers who were present at the time of the incident have also since been fired.

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