Police chief warns mass gatherings to protest over George Floyd are 'unlawful' due to coronavirus restrictions

A POLICE chief has warned that future mass gatherings to protest against the death of George Floyd would be ‘unlawful’ due to the current coronavirus restrictions in place.

Friday, 5th June 2020, 8:10 pm
Updated Friday, 5th June 2020, 8:10 pm

Protests against the death of Mr Floyd, 46, have taken place across the US and now in the UK - including Portsmouth yesterday.

On Thursday hundreds packed into Guildhall Square to voice their anger at the killing of African-American Mr Floyd and racism in the wider community.

Organisers, Black Lives Matter, had stressed the protest would take heed of social distancing measures.

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The Black Lives Matter protest taking place in Guildhall Square, Portsmouth, on Thursday, June 4. Picture: Saffron Watson Photography

Now Laurence Taylor, deputy assistant commissioner at the Metropolitan Police, has told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: ‘The health protection regulations are really clear that it is unlawful.

‘The government said that for health reasons people should not be meeting in groups of six, so we would strongly encourage people not to come out and gather in these large numbers because they are putting themselves and others at risk.

‘And if they do come out, then we would ask them to observe that social distancing, think about those around them.

‘But of course, by coming and gathering in these large groups they are potentially risking their health and also risking taking the virus back to their families.’

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