Published: 14:42, 05 June 2020
| Updated: 15:59, 05 June 2020
Kent's police chief joined people who gathered to remember and reflect on the killing of George Floyd in America.
The Kent Equality Cohesion Council and North Kent Caribbean Network organised the meet up at Gravesend promenade yesterday.
VIDEO: Scores gather to 'take the knee' in memory of George Floyd
With the Black Lives Matter movement spreading globally, many people met for a moment of silence and symbolic taking of the knee in a sign of solidarity.
Michelle Bramble, who is chairman of the Caribbean network group, addressed the event. She said: “This case in particular has hit us hard.
"How many times do we have to hear the words ‘I can’t breathe’ before people begin to accept that all lives don’t matter until black lives matter.
"The responsibility lies with everyone, not just people of colour, so I’m asking everyone to educate themselves, have a conversation and – more importantly – challenge racist behaviour with the support of our community partners.
"The pandemic has changed the way the world works forever, as has the killing of George Floyd and countless others who did not go viral. We cannot go back to how things were before.”
Chief constable for the police Alan Pughsley was also at the event.
He said: "It was important to me for us to take part in this show of solidarity. We at Kent Police stand with all those who are horrified at the manner in which George Floyd lost his life. It is right there is accountability and justice should follow.
“I am fortunate to lead a force whose officers share my passion and pride in policing. I am extremely proud of this and our communities can be confident we listen, we work with them to solve problems and we are accountable for the service we provide. We are never complacent and always strive to be better.”
Gurvinder Sandher, chief executive of the Kent Equality Cohesion Council which promotes good relations between diverse communities, said the group wanted to show its support for the movement in the best way.
He said: “Over the past few days we have been contacted by key community partners and colleagues in relation to how we could show solidarity and support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
"We felt, as an organisation that strives to fight discrimination and unite diverse communities, that it was our responsibility to recognise the racism that is still present in our society and condemn it in the strongest way.
"We hope that by joining our voices to this vital cause we can raise awareness and address racism at its root by continuing to have conversations at home, in our workplaces and schools.”