BRUSSELS • Europe is “shocked and appalled” by the police killing of unarmed black man George Floyd in the United States, the European Union’s diplomatic chief said yesterday, condemning an “abuse of power”.
EU High Representative Josep Borrell urged the US authorities to rein in the “excessive use of force”, and said the 27-nation bloc supports the right to peaceful protest.
“We here in Europe, like the people of the United States, we are shocked and appalled by the death of George Floyd,” he said. “I think that all societies must remain vigilant against the excessive use of force and ensure that all such incidents are addressed safely, effectively and in full respect of the law and human rights.”
United Nations rights chief Michelle Bachelet said the protests highlighted “not only police violence against people of colour, but also inequalities in health, education, employment and endemic racial discrimination”.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said yesterday she was “horrified” by Mr Floyd’s death. “I think I stand with everyone else in being horrified in what we’ve seen,” she told state broadcaster TVNZ in an interview.
Golf superstar Tiger Woods called Mr Floyd’s death a “shocking tragedy” but said violent protests were not the answer. “My heart goes out to George Floyd, his loved ones and all of us who are hurting right now,” Woods said on Twitter.”I have always had the utmost respect for our law enforcement. They train so diligently to understand how, when and where to use force. This shocking tragedy clearly crossed that line.”
Meanwhile, Facebook employees walked away from their work-from-home desks on Monday and took to Twitter to accuse chief executive Mark Zuckerberg of inadequately policing US President Donald Trump’s posts as strictly as the rival platform has done. Reuters saw dozens of online posts from staff critical of Mr Zuckerberg’s decision to leave Mr Trump’s most inflammatory verbiage unchallenged where Twitter had labelled it.
Facebook will allow staff participating in the protest to take time off without drawing down their vacation days, a spokesman said.
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS