Meghan Markle pays tribute to George Floyd

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Meghan Markle has paid a moving tribute to George Floyd, the unarmed black man whose death in police custody sparked nationwide protests, as she reflected on her own memories of racism when growing up in Los Angeles.

The wife of Prince Harry admitted she had been nervous to break her silence on the demonstrations sweeping the United States, but said in a video message she “realized the only wrong thing to say is to say nothing.”

“George Floyd’s life mattered,” said Markle, whose mother is black, before listing the names of other African Americans killed by police, and expressing support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Floyd’s death on May 25 in Minneapolis — a policeman knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes — has touched off the most serious civil unrest in America since the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr in 1968.

Los Angeles, where Markle now lives with the prince and their son Archie after quitting the British royal family, has been a focus of the marches, with 10,000 protesters flooding the streets of downtown on Wednesday alone.

In the video, Markle described the scenes in Los Angeles as “devastating.”

The 38-year-old also recalled deadly rioting that broke out in the city in 1992 after four white policemen were acquitted of charges of brutality after “a senseless act of racism” — the beating of black motorist Rodney King. The unrest spread nationwide and left 59 people dead.

“I remember the curfew and I remember rushing back home and on that drive home, seeing ash fall from the sky and smelling the smoke and seeing the smoke billow out of buildings,” said Markle.

Los Angeles, where Markle now lives with the prince and their son Archie after quitting the British royal family, has been a focus of the marches, with 10,000 protesters flooding the streets of downtown on Wednesday alone.

In the video, Markle described the scenes in Los Angeles as “devastating.”

The 38-year-old also recalled deadly rioting that broke out in the city in 1992 after four white policemen were acquitted of charges of brutality after “a senseless act of racism” — the beating of black motorist Rodney King. The unrest spread nationwide and left 59 people dead.

“I remember the curfew and I remember rushing back home and on that drive home, seeing ash fall from the sky and smelling the smoke and seeing the smoke billow out of buildings,” said Markle. (AFP)

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