George Floyd anniversary: Nottingham protesters take the knee

Protesters taking a knee for 9 and half minutes in memory of George Floyd. Picture by Rucsandra Moldoveanu.

Dozens of protesters gathered in the centre of Nottingham to mark the anniversary of the murder of George Floyd.

Campaigners on Old Market Square took the knee for nine and a half minutes – the length of time an American police officer knelt on Mr Floyd’s neck during his arrest in Minneapolis.

Mr Floyd’s death, and the conviction of Officer Derek Chauvin for his murder, sparked protests around the world.

Last night’s vigil – exactly a year to the day after Mr Floyd died – was organised by anti-racism campaigners from Nottingham’s Next Gen Movement.

The founder of Next Gen Janelle Brown, who spoke to the protesters from the steps of the Council House, said: “In Nottingham you are still seven times more likely to get stopped and searched by Nottinghamshire Police if you are a black male.

“Changes have been implemented, but there is still a long way to go.”

Nottinghamshire Police has organised a four-week programme in August, aimed at attracting more applications from Black, Asian and other ethnic minority candidates.

The most recent figures show there are more than 2,200 police officers in Nottinghamshire, of whom less than five per cent are from a BAME background.

The BAME population of Nottinghamshire is more than 11 per cent.

Ms Brown said: “The police need to build their reputation… and it will be a slow journey.

“We have a good relationship with the police. They really support what we’re doing and they are trying different avenues. I salute them for that.

“But they have to build trust with the community and that’s not going to happen overnight.

“Hopefully we can build a relationship so that in ten, fifteen years’ time there are no issues between the police and the BAME community.”

Writing on the Nottinghamshire Police website, Chief Constable Craig Guildford said: “As a force we have been encouraging under-represented groups to join up to help the force better reflect the area it serves.

“I would really encourage anyone who wants to know what it is like to be in the police, to get themselves on this one-off course at Nottinghamshire Police headquarters… to help us tailor our approaches to best serve all communities across Nottinghamshire.”



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