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Protesters rally outside US embassy in Nairobi over George Floyd's death

Tuesday June 02 2020
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Protesters outside the US Embassy in Nairobi on June 2, 2020. PHOTO | SIMON MAINA | AFP

By SARAH NANJALA

Dozens of people gathered outside the US embassy in Nairobi Tuesday to protest over the death of an African-American man in Minneapolis police custody.

The killing of George Floyd has sprung a global movement against police brutality, inequality and racism.

The demonstrators, who included Kenyans and Americans, marched in solidarity with US protesters chanting "Black lives matter".  They called for accountability from the US embassy in law enforcement both in the country and abroad.

In a statement addressed to the US Ambassador to Kenya Kyle McCarter, the protesters raised concern over inappropriate police actions and called on leaders to act and change policing in both the US and Kenya.

 “George Floyd was murdered by a police officer empowered by the government you serve, who acted with the knowledge that the system will protect his actions and condemn Floyd.

“This perpetuates the narrative that a black body is a threat and its destruction is not only understood, but expected,” the statement read.

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In response to the morning protests, Mr McCarter said the US government is working to ensure George Floyd gets justice.

“The actions of the officers involved in the killing of George Floyd were poor and must result to justice and accountability to those involved.

“The voices of the American people, mine included, reflect their horror and anger at the repugnant acts of these officers. The police involved have been arrested, investigations are ongoing and I am confident that justice will prevail,” he said.

The protesters also criticised the Kenyan police force over extrajudicial killings and use of unnecessary force when enforcing Covid-19 rules.

The protesters further accused the US embassy of being silent in the ongoing demonstrations in the US , stating that it be interpreted as a tacit endorsement of a norm.

“You are complicit... A police force devoid of the requirement for police reforms, or adherence to the strict implementation of the rule of law.

"A police force funded and supported by the United States. Your silence endorses these tactics,” the protesters said in the statement.

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