LONDON — Seventy-six protestors have been placed under arrest by the Metropolitan Police following a demonstration at the Westfield Shopping center in west London about the death of American Eric Garner.
Police said they made the arrests after responding to “a number of incidents arising from a pre-planned protest.”
Hundreds of Londoners had staged a die-in for Eric Garner outside Westfield to protest the death of Garner, a black man who died during an arrest in New York earlier this year.
A grand jury in the U.S. decided not to indict police officer Daniel Pantaleo in the death of Garner in Staten Island, NY, and the decision has sparked protests in the U.S.
The NYPD policeman was acquitted of all charges of manslaughter. As reported, Spike Lee went out to protest with the thousands of others who lamented the conviction, and protests have been taking place in the U.S. at stores and shopping malls.
London police said that on Wednesday evening, a group of protestors broke away from a larger group and attempted to force entry to the shopping center assaulting security staff and causing damage to property.
Police said 76 people were subsequently arrested “on suspicion of public order offences; one man was further arrested on suspicion of assault. They have been taken to various London police stations for questioning.
“We will always work with those that wish to demonstrate lawfully — as the majority of protestors did yesterday,” said chief superintendent Mark Bird. “However, we will not tolerate the small minority that offer violence or commit other criminal acts, such as that witnessed outside Westfield yesterday evening.”