United Kingdom

University of Kent investigates two students who 'mocked George Floyd's death' in shocking photo

A university is investigating a 'deeply disturbing and highly insensitive' photo that appears to mock the death of George Floyd.

An image that has been circulating on social media in recent days appears to show two people re-enacting the fatal arrest of the 46-year-old in the US.

One male holding a can of drink can be seen kneeling on the neck of another person in the picture, which bears the caption '#justiceforgeorgefloyd'.

The University of Kent is investigating an image, pictured left, which appears to show two people re-enacting the arrest of George Floyd, pictured right

Mr Floyd died after white officer Derek Chauvin held him down by pressing a knee into his neck in Minneapolis on May 25, sparking days of protest in the US.

A 15,000-strong crowd yesterday descended on London's Hyde Park for a Black Lives Matter demonstration, with many holding signs with messages referencing the death. 

Off the back of that, similar events have occurred today in other areas of the UK, including Bristol, Birmingham and Portsmouth. 

In a joint statement today, the University of Kent and Kent Union said: 'We are investigating, alongside Kent Union, this deeply disturbing and highly insensitive image.

'The University of Kent does not tolerate racism in any form and is taking this matter very seriously.'

Student union president Sasha Langeveldt condemned the image, saying: 'As the first black woman to be elected as Students' Union president, it is my duty to ensure the university is a fair and equal place, or at least challenge it whenever necessary.

'It has been brought to my attention that there is an extremely distressing photo (making fun out of George Floyd's death) circulating around social media.'

Thousands of people yesterday descended on London's Hyde Park for a Black Lives Matter demonstration, with many holding signs with messages referencing the death

A protester holds a sign reading 'I can't breathe' - words uttered by George Floyd before his death

A woman had 'I can't breathe' painted on her face during yesterday's demonstration in the capital

Laughing British teenagers sparked outrage by mocking the killing of George Floyd by police in a sick Snapchat photo

She reassured students of the union's zero tolerance policy towards racism and said she was following up the matter with the university.

It comes just days after three British teenagers who recreated a photo of the incident were arrested on suspicion of committing a hate crime.

Three British teenagers who mocked the murder of George Floyd in a Snapchat video have now been arrested on suspicion of committing a hate crime.

The trio, all from Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, were forced to shut down their social media profiles after it quickly spread and reportedly started receiving death threats.

A Northumbria Police statement earlier this week said: 'We can confirm we are investigating after an image was shared on social media which showed two men imitating the recent death of US citizen George Floyd.

'An investigation was launched and on Sunday officers arrested two males aged 19 and another male aged 18 on suspicion of sending communications causing anxiety and distress.

'They have since been released on bail. We understand that this social media post has caused significant upset and we want to reassure the public it is being investigated robustly and is being treated as a hate crime.'

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