Protests held in Birmingham yesterday over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, USA, past without incident, West Midlands Police have confirmed.
The force said that around 4,000 people attended the event and that the demonstration: “presented a challenge for the city in terms of balancing people’s right to protest, which police in the UK uphold, and the social distancing restrictions put in place to protect us all during the coronavirus health emergency”.
A spokesperson for the UK’s send largest police force said: “The protesters were loud and passionate and made their voices clearly heard, but there were no arrests and no disorder”.
The spokesperson added:
“We appreciate that today’s gathering was much larger than is allowed by those regulations, but we have consistently said that our approach is to engage, explain and encourage people, and we will only enforce the regulations when absolutely necessary.
“We put in place a proportionate policing plan for this protest, which involved a small number of officers in place to engage with the protesters.
“We will continue to work with communities and those taking part in any future protests wherever possible to ensure people’s safety.
We ask that people continue to work with officers at this challenging time”.
The protests in Birmingham are in stark contrast to the demonstrations which took place in London earlier this week.
A total of 13 people were arrested during the protests in London, and several police officers were hurt, including one police officer who was punched to the ground as he retreated from a hostile crowd with his colleague.
A war memorial in central London was also vandalised with the ‘ACAB’ (All Cops Are Bastards).
Talking about the protests in Birmingham, West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson, said:
“West Midlands Police have taken a sensible approach to facilitating peaceful protests. Members of my office, including my Deputy Commissioner, oversaw the policing operation.
“This is a cause that I am very supportive of. I am pleased that the protest has concluded without incident.”
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