The heads of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, the College of Policing and the Police Superintendents’ Association released a joint statement on Wednesday calling for "justice and accountability" for Floyd’s death.
The 46-year-old died from asphyxia after a white police officer knelt on his neck while arresting him in Minneapolis on May 25.
The police chiefs admitted they had “more to do” in the UK, but insisted they "will tackle bias, racism or discrimination wherever we find it." The statement goes on to say that British police are not "afraid to shine a light on injustices or to be held to account" when it comes to the issue of racism within the force.
The public show of solidarity from the UK police was met with a large amount of cynicism online from those unconvinced they can speak with a clear conscience, after a number of controversial incidents over the decades involving officers and the death of black people in custody in Britain.
One commenter was seemingly left doubting the sincerity of the police’s bold words, tweeting: "I really want to believe this message, but I am having a hard time." While another person online bluntly remarked: "Unbelievable."
Others hit out at the statement for not referencing Floyd’s skin color or "the systemic violence" black people have to face both in the UK and the US. Gifs were also posted mocking the intervention.
The last high-profile case in the UK of a death at the hands of police was in 2011, when the shooting of a young black man by police sparked riots in London and across other British cities. An inquiry found that 29-year-old Mark Duggan was lawfully killed and had most likely been throwing a handgun to the side to dispose of it as he was shot. However, his family have cast doubt on the official account, and initial police statements after the incident wrongly suggested there had been an exchange of fire.
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