Thousands of people took to the streets of London yesterday to protest over the death of African-American George Floyd in US police custody nine days ago. The demonstrations have attracted worlwide attention, resulting in news outlets around the world coming to the UK to cover the live scenes. But European correspondent Ben Avery at Australia’s Nine News had to stop his broadcast after one protest got out of hand.
He wrote on Twitter following the chase: “Thanks to everyone for your concern after this.
“Had been a peaceful protest until things took a turn late.
“The microphone was pulled from my hand and we were chased down the street by a large group.
“Big thanks to rock solid cameraman @9CadeThompson, our security guard and police.”
London protests: Ben Avery and his cameraman were chased
Shocking footage shows Ben’s broadcast being drowned out by protestors shouting expletives.
He then rushes into a newarby tunnel while shouting can be heard in the background.
He then says to his colleagues in the studio: “Okay guys, so what’s happened is we’ve been told to walk away from the danger here and it has been following us.”
Ben is then muted as a person grabs his microphone and runs away.
London protests: Ben Avery looks uncomfortable during his broadcast
He is then captured running down the tunnel along with the person filming the scenes.
A broadcaster from the studio can be heard saying: “Goodness me, I mean this just goes to show how dangerous it is for our reporters, for all journalists on the streets at the moment, trying to cover these riots when emotions are running so high.
“It’s good to see you’ve got police there now.”
A second broadcaster then added: “That has come out of nowhere.”
London protests: The footage becomes blurred as the mob edges nearer
London protests: The pair were chased out of the tunnel
Activists chanted “black lives matter” and “we will not be silent” in Hyde Park in a peaceful demonstration before tensions escalated later outside Downing Street last night.
Star Wars actor John Boyega was among those to speak at the rally before protesters, many wearing masks and holding placards, marched on Westminster.
Mr Floyd died after a white officer held him down by pressing a knee into his neck in Minneapolis on May 25, sparking days of protest in the US.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “appalled and sickened” to see what happened to Mr Floyd, while chief constables from across the UK issued a joint statement saying they “stand alongside all those across the globe who are appalled and horrified”.
London protests: Police kept a close eye on the protests
London protests: Demonstrators took to the streets of London
As Mr Johnson was speaking at the daily coronavirus press conference, videos shared on social media showed protesters and police clashing outside Downing Street.
Footage showed objects including signs and a traffic cone being thrown at police while one protester could be seen being wrestled to the ground and restrained by officers.
Freelance journalist Mattha Busby filmed the moment and said it was “unclear exactly what started things”.
“Police appeared to attempt to take a man from the crowd and pandemonium ensued,” he tweeted.