US embassies in Africa address George Floyd: ‘We are deeply troubled’
Several U.S. embassies in African countries spoke out against the killing of George Floyd in an unusual example of American diplomats commenting publicly on U.S. domestic affairs.
Floyd, an unarmed black man, was killed last week after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on the back of his neck for several minutes despite Floyd’s protests that he was unable to breathe. The incident has sparked protests in cities around the U.S. for several consecutive days and nights.
The U.S. Embassy in Kenya tweeted, “We are deeply troubled by the death of Mr. George Floyd in Minneapolis. The U.S. Department of Justice is conducting a full criminal investigation as a top priority,” adding, “Law enforcement must be held accountable in every country.”
We are deeply troubled by the death of Mr. George Floyd in Minneapolis. The U.S. Department of Justice is conducting a full criminal investigation as a top priority. Law enforcement officials must be held accountable in every country.
— U.S. Embassy Nairobi (@USEmbassyKenya) May 29, 2020
The U.S. Embassy in Tanzania, meanwhile, tweeted out the joint FBI and Justice Department statement announcing a criminal investigation into Floyd’s death.
— US Embassy Tanzania (@usembassytz) May 29, 2020
The condemnation went beyond U.S. diplomats on the continent, with Moussa Faki Mahamat, head of the African Union Commission, saying in a statement that he “strongly condemns the murder of George Floyd that occurred in the United States of America at the hands of law enforcement officers, and wishes to extend his deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.”
U.S. diplomats on the continent, concerned about increasing Chinese influence in Africa, have been concerned the issue of police killings of black men is a propaganda opportunity for Beijing and have worked to counter it by weighing in on the Floyd case.