Wellington protesters hold vigil for George Floyd as riots erupt across US

A vigil has been held in Wellington to commemorate the lives lost to police brutality in America, as protests and riots for the same cause erupt across the US.

Hundreds of people gathered outside Parliament on Monday night to share in the pain wreaking havoc across the US. 

Footage of the vigil shows protesters screaming "I can't breathe" - the last words of George Floyd and Eric Garner - two black men who lost their lives to police brutality.

Protests have broken out across the world following one of the most recent deaths of a black man at the hands of a white police officer. The death of Floyd, after he was detained in Minnesota, has led to widespread protests with police escalating to violence across America.

In South America, Germany and now New Zealand thousands have gathered to protest the systematic racism which enables the deaths of hundreds of black Americans. 

One of the organisers of the Wellignton vigil, Nicole Inskeep, says she is doing it to connect with a community she feels isolated from.

Inskeep is a black American living in Wellington. She says the work is necessary to give voice to the voiceless.

"Feeling that pain and that connection with your community and being helpless to create any sort of solution or provide any sort of voice for them - that's what we're doing here," she told Newshub.

"We are being misunderstood on a large scale - the pain and the grief we feel is not being fully understood."

Inskeep says as part of the vigil she will read some of the names of those killed by police.

"We struggled to create a list which has every name of every person who has been lost to police brutality - that in itself is unacceptable," she told Newshub.

"We don't have enough time in an hour to name all of them - there's a lot of people dying."

Inskeep says the vigil will not be the last of her work - she's planning further events to give a voice to other people who are marginalised.

"There was a lot of discussion as to putting all black communities and people of colours' pain into one thing but that does a disservice to other people's pain," she said.

"To fully give people their own event and their own time to say these are the problems that we're dealing with and this is what we need - you can't do that in hours time."