Auckland Black Lives Matter protesters call for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to condemn George Floyd's death

Organisers for Auckland's Black Lives Matter protest are calling for the Prime Minister to condemn the killing of US man George Floyd's death.

Over 2000 people gathered in Aotea Square on Monday afternoon to march in solidarity with US protesters by walking down Queen St to the US Consulate General on Customs St East.

Before marching, music artist Mazbou Q addressed the crowd and said Jacinda Ardern needs to speak out about the situation.

"Jacinda Ardern, you must condemn the murder of George Floyd. You must call for the arrest of the three officers that were involved in that murder… The silence has been deafening."

Floyd died in Minneapolis after a police officer pinned him to the ground and knelt on his neck for nine minutes. Other officers shown in a video are seen looking on while this happens.

A second organiser also called for Ardern to condemn Floyd's death.

"We urge you to publicly condemn what has happened and is continuing to happen in America. Further, we urge you to roll back the Armed Response Teams (ART) so that we do not endanger the lives of the most vulnerable," she said.

ARTs were introduced last October for a six-month trial period and were designed to respond more quickly to shooters in the wake of the Christchurch mosque attacks. Official Information Act documents RNZ obtained show a working group thought the ARTs could be seen to disadvantage Māori.

Aucklanders observed a moment of silence in Floyd's memory before beginning the march.

While holding signs that read "no more armed cops" and "I can't breathe" - Floyd's last words while under the policeman's knee - chants were also heard strongly throughout the crowd. "Black lives matter" and "hey, hey, USA, how many brothers have you killed today?" were some of the main chants the crowd used during their protest.

Protester Kainee Simone, who is originally from the US, said she is one of the many who has faced race-based discrimination.

"I got called the N-word every day of my life, I got harassed by police everyday, it was so awful."

Despite the US Consulate General being closed on Monday, a haka was performed to the crowd and many protesters hugged each other as the march finished. 

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