Discrimination taken seriously, says police chief after US killing

- Advertisement -

A protest is due to be held in the Royal Square at 11am tomorrow in remembrance of Mr Floyd, a black American who was killed by a white police officer who knelt on his neck causing him to stop breathing. Islanders are being invited to kneel, sit or bow for eight minutes and 46 seconds, the amount of time the officer knelt on his neck.

Mr Floyd’s death has sparked outrage across the world.

Jersey’s police chief Robin Smith took part in a conference call with members of the National Police Chiefs’ Council earlier this week following the death of Mr Floyd.

He said: ‘The States of Jersey Police takes any form of discrimination extremely seriously and we are proactive in dealing with these issues in the community.

‘It is for this reason that we worked with the government last year to deliver a major media campaign specifically about hate crime. The aim of this was to increase general public awareness about a largely unreported crime and to give victims the confidence to report cases to us, or our partnered hate-crime charity, StopHateUK.

‘Equally, we recognise that for us to reduce discriminatory behaviour in our community we must, as police officers, behave in a manner that is entirely consistent with these values. All officers therefore receive mandatory equality, diversity and inclusivity training and we have 12 specially trained E,D&I champions who provide subject-matter expertise within the force.

‘We also work closely with Liberate and our Community Advisory Group, which comprises representatives from a wide range of minority groups within Jersey, to ensure that we understand ongoing and developing issues in this area and police in a proactive and considerate manner.

‘It is also important to reinforce that our policing philosophy in Jersey, as in the UK, is one of policing by consent – we are all Islanders in uniform and recognise that we can only police effectively with the trust and confidence of the community we serve.’

The organisers of the Jersey protest, Nicola Twiston Davies and Jude Kriwald, said they hoped many Islanders would join them on Saturday.

‘The aim is to come together to listen, understand and express our sadness and frustration at world events. To put an end to racism we must do more to understand how our actions can unintentionally harm black people.’

The pair called upon ‘local leaders’ to guide change, as people around the world demand the same from their government.

Meanwhile, Islanders currently living in the United States have spoken about the response to the Mr Floyd’s death.

Jersey swimmer Harry Shalamon attends Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where there have been significant riots this past weekend.

‘It started as protests but quickly turned to riots with looting and smashing up local shops and bars in the downtown area,’ he said.

Mr Shalamon, who has represented Jersey at the Commonwealth Games, added that while he did not condone violence he believed the public had every right to protest over police brutality and racial profiling which affected black people in their community.

‘I have seen the effect it has mentally on black people I’ve met here. One of my friends posted saying he is scared to drive to pick his brother up from work in fear of being pulled over and racially profiled.’

Amy Parker, who now lives 30 miles from Houston where George Floyd grew up, thinks attitudes towards racism have to change.

‘America is years behind Europe in terms of accepting racial diversity. I used to live in San Diego and I have witnessed shocking levels of racism towards African-Americans.’

Max Whelan lives in Fort Collins in Colorado where there has been both peaceful and violent protests.

‘The most recent violent riot in Denver, one hour north of me, the police used rubber bullets and tear gas to deal with the protest. In Fort Collins today there was a 500-people protest where police and protesters walked side by side.’

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest Stories

- Advertisement -

UK News

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Read the latest free supplements

Read the Town Crier, Le Rocher and a whole host of other subjects like mortgage advice, business, cycling, travel and property.