George Floyd protests: Man charged after Australian reporter ‘assaulted’ live on air in London

Nine News correspondent Sophie Walsh was allegedly assaulted near Hyde Park, London

Matt Mathers
Thursday 04 June 2020 15:15
NYPD angrily confront journalists at George Floyd protests

A man has been charged with assaulting a TV reporter during the Black Lives Matter demonstration in London.

Soofuu Yakr, 26, of no fixed address, is charged with assaulting Sophie Walsh by beating her in an incident near Hyde Park on Wednesday, court lists show.

He is also accused of possessing an offensive weapon in a public place, namely a screwdriver, and possessing cannabis.

He is due before Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.

Ms Walsh, a Europe correspondent with Nine News Australia, was heard screaming on camera during her report and later tweeted she was “shaken but OK”.

A second TV crew from the same network was accosted by protesters live on air while covering the protests on Wednesday.

Footage shows Nine News correspondent Ben Avery and his team being confronted by a crowd of around 20 protesters near Downing Street on Wednesday evening.

Mr Avery and his camera operator can be seen fleeing down an alleyway towards parliament as they are approached and heckled by the demonstrators.

Avery said one of the protesters had taken the microphone out of his hand.

“A bit of a clash with us here at the moment,” Mr Avery can be heard saying in audio from the clip.

“OK, guys. What’s happened, we’ve been trying to walk away from the danger here. It’s been following us,” he added.

The killing of George Floyd has set off the biggest anti-racism protests seen in the United States since the 1960s civil rights era

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of the capital on Wednesday to protest against racism following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, US.

Demonstrators could be heard chanting “no justice, no peace, no racist police” as they marched through the centre of London.

The protests have been largely peaceful, with just a small number of isolated incidents of violence.

Floyd, an unarmed black man, died by asphyxiation after a white police officer knelt on his neck for over eight minutes, an event that has set off the biggest anti-racism protests seen in the United States since the 1960s civil rights era

Protesters took to the streets in cities around the world to show solidarity with Floyd and to express anger at enduring institutionalised racism and police brutality.

Four Minneapolis police officers have now been charged with a number of offences.

Derek Chauvin, the officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck, has been charged with second-degree murder after initial charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter, according to court documents.

Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao have also been taken into custody and each charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder, and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

Protesters in the US have said they will “stop at nothing” until all four officers are charged with first degree murder.

An Australian reporter and camera-operator were knocked over by police in Washington DC on Tuesday, while covering protests there.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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