Irish born police officer in Washington describes violence on frontline

“But that doesn’t make up for the fact that an innocent man was killed in the hands of police officers.”
Irish born police officer in Washington describes violence on frontline
Demonstrators pause to kneel as they march to protest the death of George Floyd on Tuesday Washington. Picture: AP Photo/Alex Brandon

An Irish born police officer in Washington's described the violent scenes of recent days as horrific.

The death of George Floyd, killed when a white police officer held him down by pressing a knee into his neck in Minneapolis last week, has provoked demonstrations and condemnation in the United States and the wider world.

Mark Kirwan is originally from Tipperary but is now policing the streets of the US Capital.

Describing what has encountered on the frontline, he said: “We’ve really been tried and tested.”

“Last night I come off a 20-hour shift and I’ve been punched, I’ve been spat at. Someone tried to steal my police cruiser.

“But that doesn’t make up for the fact that an innocent man was killed in the hands of police officers.”

Last night

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The president also demanded that New York call up the National Guard to stop what he termed the “lowlifes and losers”.

Most protests passed peacefully, and while there were scattered reports of looting in New York, the country appeared calmer than it did a day earlier, when violence swept through multiple cities.

Protests ranged across the US, including in Los Angeles, Miami, Columbia, South Carolina and Houston, where the police chief talked to peaceful demonstrators, vowing reforms.

Tuesday marked the eighth straight night of the protests, which began in Minneapolis, where Mr Floyd died, and quickly spread across the country.

The mother of George Floyd’s six-year-old daughter, Gianna, said she wanted the world to know that her little girl lost a good father.

“I want everybody to know that this is what those officers took,” Roxie Washington said. “I want justice for him because he was good. No matter what anybody thinks, he was good.”

Meanwhile, the Tánaiste has said many people are shocked and disturbed by the death of Floyd George and subsequent protests.

Simon Coveney says he has not yet spoken to the US ambassador to Ireland.

However, he has said violence is not the way to achieve long term progress.

The Tánaiste says many in government are concerned about what is happening

“I think may of us are pretty disturbed and shocked by the images we’re seeing coming out of the United States now for the eighth day in a row,” he said.

“What everybody wants to ensure is that peaceful protest is part of any democracy.”

- with reporting from Press Assoication

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