Merkel condemns racist ‘murder’ of George Floyd

Merkel condemns racist 'murder' of George Floyd
A bike rider goes past a mural for George Floyd in Mannheim on Tuesday. Photo: DPA
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday condemned the death in US police custody of George Floyd as "murder", saying that "racism is something terrible".

“This murder of George Floyd is very terrible. Racism is something terrible. Society in the United States is very polarised,” she told national broadcaster ZDF in an interview.

Asked about US President Donald Trump's role in the unrest sweeping the country, Merkel said while she tries “to bring people together, to seek reconciliation”, the US leader's “political style is a very controversial one”.

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Merkel has been a pointed critic of Trump's stance including on his go-it-alone style that sidelines international cooperation.

In a striking message to Trump after his election victory in 2016, Merkel had tied her pledge of close ties to democratic values.

Any “close cooperation” must be on the basis of the “values of democracy, freedom, respect for the rule of law and human dignity, regardless of origin, skin colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation or political belief,” she said at the time.

People across Germany, including footballers, have been protesting against racism and police brutality in the US over the past days.

More demos will take place around the country this weekend, including one at Berlin's Potsdamer Platz which officially has 1,500 registered participants.

On Tuesday, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that the protests in the US are “more than legitimate.”

Floyd, a black American man, died after a white policeman kneeled on his neck for several minutes.

His death has sparked eight days of protests in US cities, some of which have turned violent amid accusations of further police brutality used against demonstrators.


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