Police praise Black Lives Matter marchers' "exemplary behaviour" on streets of Northampton

Chief Constable tweets "My sincere gratitude sincere gratitude to all those who took part in the peaceful protests"

By Kevin Nicholls
Sunday, 14th June 2020, 11:17 am
Updated Sunday, 14th June 2020, 11:50 am

Chief Constable Nick Adderley has led police praise for the hundreds of people who took part in a Black Lives Matter march through Northampton yesterday, Saturday.

The march, the second in the town following the death of George Floyd in the USA, went off peacefully with those taking part sticking to social distancing guidelines.

Police had issued pleas for the event to pass off without incident after one 10 days earlier raised concerns about marchers funneling into Abington Street.

Mr Adderley said: "My sincere gratitude to all those who took part in the peaceful protests yesterday for their exemplary behaviour and for their great co-operation with the police.

"Thank you."

Chief Inspector Chris Hillery, who was part of the command team monitoring the march as it made its way to the Racecourse, added: "Proud to be part of the command team, but even prouder of the protesters, community and colleagues for the way in which they behaved."

Ahead of the event, police issued a statement saying: "We understand that people want to make their voices heard and the right to peaceful protest is a key part of any democracy which Northamptonshire Police will facilitate. Covid-19 remains a danger to us all and we strongly encourage everyone taking part in today’s protest to follow social distancing guidelines."

Black Lives Matter protesters spread out while 'taking a knee' in Abington Street yesterday. Pictures: Leila Coker

Yesterday's march was the seventh in Northamptonshire raising racial awareness following the death of George Floyd in Minnesota. A white police officer knelt on the the black American's neck for more nearly nine minutes while trying to arrest him on suspicion of having a fake $20 note, despite his desperate pleas to be allowed to breathe.

Mr Adderley also tweeted his response to violence at a Black Lives Matter event in London yesterday.

Alongside a photo of a Metropolitan Police officere being attacked by a far-right counter-protestor, Mr Adderley said: To the absolute ‘low life’ who kicked this officer in the back, this is the same officer who would have stopped and risked their own safety to treat your cowardly, sorry mass.

"To the officer, who jumped straight back up and engaged, you have my utmost respect."

Marchers head to Northampton's Racecourse

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