Foreign secretary says George Floyd case ‘distressing’ but ‘not really my job’ to discuss it

PUBLISHED: 12:28 31 May 2020 | UPDATED: 18:16 31 May 2020

Dominic Raab appears on Sky News. Photograph: Sky.

Dominic Raab appears on Sky News. Photograph: Sky.

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Foreign secretary Dominic Raab has said footage showing the death of a black man while he was being restrained by police in the US was “very distressing”, but he said it was not his job to discuss it.

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President Trump has come under fire from some after posting on social media that “looting leads to shooting”, following the death of Mr Floyd after a white police officer restraining him pressed a knee into his neck last Monday.

Trump further tweeted on Friday: “Looting leads to shooting, and that’s why a man was shot and killed in Minneapolis on Wednesday night - or look at what just happened in Louisville with 7 people shot. I don’t want this to happen, and that’s what the expression put out last night means.”

He also appeared to cheer the tougher tactics being used by the National Guard as protests spread across America.

In further social media posts on Saturday night, Trump commended the Guard deployment in Minneapolis, declaring “No games!”, and also said police in New York City “must be allowed to do their job!”.


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Hundreds of people have taken to the streets in protest across the US in recent days, with more than 1,300 having been arrested in 16 cities since Thursday night.

In Washington, the National Guard was deployed outside the White House to deal with protesters.

Asked about Trump’s response, Raab told Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday: “I’m not going to start commenting on the commentary or indeed the press statements that other world leaders make, or indeed the US president.

“Footage of what happened to George Floyd was very distressing, as has been the scenes across America of the rioting and some of the violence.

“And what we do know is that the lead suspect has now been charged with murder, there is a federal review and we want to see a de-escalation of all of those tensions and America come together.”

Later on the BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show, Raab added: “I’ve long kept to the self-imposed guidance not to comment on what president Trump says or indeed other world leaders, it is not really what my job is.”

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