POLICE chiefs from across the UK have spoken out in relation to the death of George Floyd, saying ‘justice and accountability’ should follow.

Mike Cunningham, chief executive of the College of Policing, Martin Hewitt, chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council and Paul Griffiths, president of the Police Superintendents’ Association, have released a statement after protests erupted across the United States.

The statement said: “We stand alongside all those across the globe who are appalled and horrified by the way George Floyd lost his life.

“We are appalled to see the violence and damage that has happened in so many US cities since then. Our hearts go out to all those affected by these terrible events and hope that peace and order will soon be restored.

“In the UK we have a long established tradition of policing by consent, working in communities to prevent crime and solve problems. Officers are trained to use force proportionately, lawfully and only when absolutely necessary. We strive to continuously learn and improve. We will tackle bias, racism or discrimination wherever we find it.

“Policing is complex and challenging and sometimes we fall short. When we do, we are not afraid to shine a light on injustices or to be held to account.

“We know people want to make their voices heard. The right to lawful protest is key part of any democracy, which UK police uphold and facilitate, but coronavirus remains a deadly disease and there are still restrictions in place to prevent its spread."

Mr Floyd was an unarmed black man who died after Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, was filmed kneeling on his neck for more than eight minutes as he told them “I can’t breathe”.

The case has reignited deep-seated anger over police killings of black Americans and racism.

Denbighshire Free Press:

Arfon Jones photographed at North Wales Police HQ. Picture Mandy Jones

Arfon Jones, North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner, said the tragedy had ‘besmirched the name of police officers all over the world.’

He added: “I utterly condemn the violence that led to the death of George Floyd.

“I was sickened when I saw the footage for the first time. I thought that kneeling and putting all his weight on George Floyd’s neck was over the top, brutal and totally unnecessary. I was shocked when I saw them using so much force.

“There were three police officers there are the time and Mr Floyd did not appear to be resisting.

“As a former police officer, I felt ashamed. What happened in Minneapolis have given a bad name to the police service right across the world.

“Donald Trump’s response has been equally reprehensible. He is using this tragedy for political purposes to appeal to his White supremacist base

“He is deliberately inflaming an already volatile situation and that is unforgivable.”

The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, of which Mr Jones is a member, also released a statement saying they were appalled by what happened.

They said: “Alongside our communities, we are saddened and appalled by the footage that has emerged from the US over recent days of the death of George Floyd at the hands of US police officers.

“We express our heartfelt sympathies to the family of George Floyd and to all the communities affected by these events, and we acknowledge the current strength of feeling and the impact that incidents of this nature have on communities around the world."