George Floyd protests: UK raises police treatment of British journalists with Trump administration

Move comes amid claims police targeting media covering protests over death of George Floyd

Andrew Woodcock
Political Editor
Friday 05 June 2020 14:16
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NYPD angrily confront journalists at George Floyd protests

The UK embassy in Washington has raised concerns with the US administration over British journalists who were subject to police action while covering protests over the death of George Floyd, Downing Street has said.

The move comes amid growing anger over the handling of media covering protest marches, with high-profile footage showing officers blocking cameras and even arresting one US correspondent during a live on-air report.

New York-based British photographer Adam Gray was thrown to the ground, handcuffed and arrested on Sunday while documenting protests in the city's Union Square, despite displaying his press card to police.

Prime minister Boris Johnson's official spokesman said: "Our embassy in the US has raised the issue of the protests with the US administration, including on behalf of British journalists who were subject to police action.

"The prime minister and foreign secretary have both spoken publicly to condemn the death of George Floyd, to express concern at the violence we’ve seen, and to underline people’s right to protest peacefully.

"As we have always said, journalists must be free to do their job and to hold authorities to account without fear of arrest or violence."

The announcement of the embassy's involvement came after Labour leader Keir Starmer wrote to the PM urging him to challenge Donald Trump to "respect human rights" following the US president's incendiary remarks about the Black Lives Matter protests.

In a letter to the prime minister, the Labour leader said there was a "moral obligation" to speak out and the UK must show it was "ready to stand together with those who seek to tackle the injustice and inequality that remains within all our societies".

Australia's government has already raised a complaint with the Trump administration after Channel 7 reporter Amelia Brace and her cameraman were knocked over by riot police as they ploughed into crowds at a Washington rally, firing rubber bullets and tear gas.

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