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Czechs have staged a ‘Roma Lives Matter’ protest after video showed cops using knees like Derek Chauvin.
Hundreds of protesters gathered in the Czech Republic on Saturday to protest the recent death of a Roma man at the hands of police after video footage showed policemen kneeling for many minutes on his neck and chest.
According to BBC News, footage from the event showed three officers kneeling on the man’s chest and neck for several minutes before he was seen still. In an ambulance, the man, whose identity has not been revealed, was later pronounced dead.
Duzda added that the Roma community is often abused by authorities and called police treatment “very, very bad.”
Police have since apologized for the man’s death but defended the use of force by stating that the man had become overly aggressive due to a crystal meth overdose.
“We are sorry about the loss of any human life,” said local police chief Jaromir Knize, according to the AP. “Under the current circumstances I stand behind the officers, but of course, I’m sorry about the death of the person, that’s for sure. Nobody wishes anything like that to happen.”
However, police rejected accusations that the incident was comparable to Floyd’s death, later writing “No Czech Floyd” on social media, the BBC reported.
“We can clearly rule out any link between the police intervention and the death,” said police deputy Zbynek Dvorak.
Several human rights groups, including the Council of Europe, Amnesty International and the government’s envoy for human rights have all called for an independent probe into the incident.