US man criticised after bizarre Black Lives Matter-themed proposal

An African-American man from Alabama has earned fame and his fair share of derision after staging an odd marriage proposal with the help of local police officers.

Daiwon McPherson, who is a member of a motorcycle group, popped the question on Friday night (local time) after coming up with a story designed to mislead his girlfriend Shawn Blackmon.

He got one of his biker friends to call Ms Blackmon to tell her that he was being chased by police and had a gun with him, and to meet him at a nearby petrol station.

When she arrived she got the fright of her life - Mr McPherson was on the ground, surrounded by officers who had their weapons pointed at him.

She immediately ran in to protect him, urging officers to put their firearms down - but after a little while Mr McPherson reached into a pocket, pulled out a ring and proposed.

Ms Blackmon broke down in tears and into the arms of one of the officers at the sight of the ring - and the video, posted by a friend, immediately started doing the rounds on social media and on various television networks.

But now Mr McPherson has been the victim of a public backlash after the proposal was seen to be a reference to the Black Lives Matter movement and highly publicised instances of police brutality towards African-Americans.

Mr McPherson spoke to in an attempt to clear the air and explain himself.

"I just went and talked into [the police] at the last minute and just shot them my pitch, like, this is the only way that she's going to believe that it's real," he said.

"I said, I need you guys' help - and maybe, just maybe, we can help each other because you know there's a lot of videos on the internet portraying officers in a negative light."

Ms Blackmon was pleased with the proposal, saying "I appreciate the way he did it."