A MESSAGE from police chiefs condemning George Floyd’s death and vowing to build trust among communities has been backed by the Cheshire force.

The black American died aged 46 last week after a police officer held him down by pressing a knee into his neck, provoking protests in the USA and in cities across the UK.

It comes as an anti-racism group is urging the country to ‘take the knee’ on their doorsteps at 6pm today, June 3, in solidarity with protesters.

A joint statement has been published on the Cheshire Police website, signed by Martin Hewitt, chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, Mike Cunningham, chief executive of the College of Policing, and Paul Griffiths, president of the Police Superintendents' Association.

It says: “We stand alongside all those across the globe who are appalled and horrified by the way George Floyd lost his life. Justice and accountability should follow.

“Policing is complex and challenging and sometimes we fall short. When we do, we are not afraid to shine a light on injustices or to be held to account.

“The relationship between the police and the public in the UK is strong but there is always more to do.

“Every day, up and down the country, officers and staff are working to strengthen those relationships and address concerns. Only by working closely with our communities do we build trust and help keep people safe.”

Stand Up to Racism has organised the ‘take the knee’ protest as part of a day of action against discrimination in response to the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis.

Northwich Guardian:

George Floyd. Image: AP

The Guardian was contacted about the campaign by a student from Weaverham, who is hoping as many people in mid Cheshire will back the protest as possible.

She said: “You can show support from your doorstep by kneeling for the death of George Floyd for one minute.

“If we can do it for the NHS we can do it for equality and the movement.”

The ‘take the knee’ campaign is inspired by American football star Colin Kaepernick, who made the same protest in 2016 in an act which became symbolic in the Black Lives Matter campaign.

Northwich Guardian:

Colin Kaepernick. Image: AP

Weyman Bennett, of Stand Up to Racism, said: "Racism is the underlying condition that continues to kill black and BAME [non-white] communities.

"Take the knee at 6pm because there is a boot on the neck of millions of people in the BAME community.

"Part of the cure for the virus of racism is to embrace anti-racism and anti-fascism."