Demonstrators in Hyde Park

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Thousands of protesters gathered in London’s Hyde Park on Wednesday

Mass protests held in the UK over the death of George Floyd are considered unlawful under current lockdown laws, a senior Met Police officer has said.

Thousands attended a march through London on Wednesday, while others have taken place around the UK.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor said the “health protection regulations are really clear that it is unlawful.”

But he added that those who do go out should “observe social distancing”.

Protests began in the US after a video showed Mr Floyd, 46, being arrested on 25 May in Minneapolis and a white police officer continuing to kneel on his neck even after he pleaded that he could not breathe.

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Media captionJohn Boyega gives emotional protest speech: “Black men, it starts with you”

Thirteen people were arrested during Wednesday’s march after some scuffles broke out.

Seven men and two women have been released on bail until early July, while four other men have been released under investigation.

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