George Floyd protests: Met Police officer thrown off horse, collides with traffic lights as BLM protests ramp up in London

Disturbing footage has captured the moment a British police officer was thrown from her horse and collided with traffic lights as chaos erupted in England's capital during a Black Lives Matter protest. 

The horse bolted after the woman was flung from its back, the animal later charging a demonstrator, who also appeared to be injured. 

On Saturday, Londoners gathered to stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter protesters in the United States following the alleged murder of African-American man George Floyd, who died after a Caucasian officer pinned him to the ground by his neck for roughly eight minutes on May 25. 

Following the distressing collision, the female officer can be seen lying spread-eagled on the ground. Local media say police horses were visibly agitated by the swarms of protesters.

On Saturday evening (local time), the Metropolitan Police confirmed the officer has been hospitalised and is being treated for non-life threatening injuries. The department also noted that the horse was uninjured in the fracas.

"The officer is currently in hospital, receiving treatment for her injuries which are not life-threatening. The officer fell from her horse, and we are examining the full circumstances of what took place," the Met Police tweeted.

"The horse, uninjured, made its own way back to the stables, nearby."

The demonstration took a chaotic turn in London's Whitehall suburb on Saturday, with escalating tensions between police and protesters sparking a string of violence. 

Speaking from the scene, a Sky News correspondent described the protest as a "very serious escalation of disorder".

"The Metropolitan Police have just brought in mounted officers... you can see one of the officers has been knocked off his horse, that horse has now bolted," the reporter said during his broadcast.

Local media noted that bottles and other debris were thrown at the police, while a bike was deliberately hurled at an on-duty horse. Officers guarding the gates of Downing Street - home to the official residences and offices of Prime Minister Boris Johnson - donned full riot gear and shields as red flares were reportedly thrown over the security barrier. 

Police equipped with helmets and shields formed lines outside of the prestigious street. Some protesters linked their arms to form a chain of resistance against officers who attempted to move them along. 

Missiles, such as fireworks, were reportedly launched at officers while protesters vandalised Whitehall buildings, including the Cabinet Office, with graffiti.

The carnage seen in Whitehall echoes the chaos across the US, with major cities including Los Angeles, New York and Washington DC rocked by violence. 

Tensions between protesters and police have continued to escalate, with officers bearing the brunt of the demonstrators' rage. Cops have been ploughed over by vehicles, pelted with debris and fired at with guns, although many have also resorted to increasingly violent means to control rioters. 

Widely-circulated footage on social media has captured NYPD vehicles deliberately ramming protesters in Brooklyn, male cops violently pushing female demonstrators and frequent assaults on media personnel, including an Australian reporter and cameraman. Pepper spray, tear gas and rubber bullets are being used in a bid to subdue rioters, yet there have been multiple reports of the weapons being misused and abused - including a female photo-journalist blinded in one eye by a bullet and a nine-year-old child who was allegedly sprayed with mace.

George Floyd, 46, died by asphyxiation in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25 after being apprehended by local officers on suspicion of forgery. Derek Chauvin, a 44-year-old cop with a history of conduct complaints against him, knelt on Floyd's neck for roughly eight minutes - a move he says was in response to Floyd "physically resisting" arrest. However, surveillance footage shows no obvious signs of a struggle.

Despite multiple pleas for air, with Floyd repeatedly gasping, "I can't breathe", Chauvin did not lift his knee. The 46-year-old father later became unresponsive and was pronounced dead shortly after. 

Chauvin has since had his charges upgraded to second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. 

The alleged homicide is the latest case to be adopted by the Black Lives Matter movement, sparking widespread, global protests against the ingrained, systemic racism in the US and its law enforcement.