THE son Martin Luther King has said his father would have understood black people’s anger at the death of George Floyd spilling over into violence.
The great civil rights leader was committed to non-violence to achieve the goal of ending racial segregation and inequality.
The death of George Floyd, after a cop was filmed with his knee on the handcuffed 46-year-old’s neck, has sparked a wave of violent protests across the United States.
Martin Luther King III said repeated cases of black people dying at the hands of the police would have tested his father’s belief in non-violence.
King told the BBC “based on the circumstances he would have said ‘I certainly understand what people feel they are going through’ – when you push people up into a corner at some point people will come out and react in ways that some people would say are not responsible.”
He said he felt “great sadness and great frustration” that “George Floyd was murdered just a few days ago by police officers we all watched as he was crying for help”.
"And the people who are supposed to protect and serve did nothing other than allow one of their colleagues to continue to stand on his neck," he said.
'Judge, Jury and Executioner'
“What that says to me is that the policeman who was supposed to protect and serve functioned as judge, jury and executioner.
“We’ve seen these incidents happen in the African American community at the hands of policemen over and over again.
“So when I saw Mr Floyd I thought 'when is enough going to be enough?'”
Mr Floyd was arrested by Minneapolis police on May 25 by officers responding to a report of a "forgery in progress".
Footage of the incident posted to social media, shows Mr Floyd groaning and saying repeatedly "I can't breathe" to the police officer kneeling on his neck.
The officer had his other knee on Mr Floyd's back, near where his hands were handcuffed.
In the footage, Mr Floyd can also be heard saying "Don't kill me!" before he becomes motionless with his eyes closed.
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