A Black Lives Matter protester who rescued an injured white man from a violent far-right demonstration has spoken out for the first time.
Grandfather Patrick Hutchinson, who works as a personal trainer, was hailed as a hero after he was photographed marching towards police officers with the man on his shoulder. Earlier today he told Channel 4 how he believed the man’s life was ‘under threat’ as the crowds of people became ‘almost like a stampede’ on Saturday.
He continued: ‘There were people trying to protect him, but unsuccessfully. And then the guys went in there, they sort of put a little cordon around him to stop him receiving any more physical harm. He was under physical harm. His life was under threat.
‘And whilst they did that I thought, “well if he stays here he’s not going to make it”. So I just went under, scooped him up and put him on my shoulders and sort of started marching towards the police with him whilst all the guys were sort of surrounding me and protecting me and the guy I had on my shoulder
‘I could actually feel strikes and hits as I was carrying him, so these guys were probably taking some of that themselves on their person.’
Mr Hutchinson, a father-of-two, had been at the protest with friends Pierre Noah, Jamaine Facey, Lee Russell and Chris Otokito, who are all affiliated with protection group Ark Security, to watch over young Black Lives Matter activists.
He compared their intervention with injured protesters to what happened during the death of George Floyd, 46, in Minneapolis on May 25.
Mr Floyd died after white police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes during an arrest. Chauvin was later charged with murder, while three other officers at the scene were charged with aiding and abetting murder.
Mr Hutchinson said: ‘If the other three police officers that were standing around when George Floyd was murdered had thought about intervening and stopping their colleague from doing what he was doing like what we did, George Floyd would still be alive today.’
He added: ‘I just want equality for all of us. At the moment the scales are unfairly balanced and I just want things to be fair, for my children and my grandchildren.’
Mr Noah, 47, who is a bodyguard and martial arts teacher from Croydon, said they had been ready to help anyone ‘no matter what their colour’. He described seeing the man and realising that people were ‘going to beat him up and stamp on him’.
He continued: ‘If we didn’t [help] I wouldn’t like to think what would have happened to the poor guy. We wanted to save his life and save the Black Lives Matter campaign as well.’
The Met Police said 23 officers were injured on Saturday as several hundred demonstrators, mostly white men, attended the protest organised by far-right groups which claimed they wanted to protect statues such as that of Winston Churchill from vandalism.
A total of 113 people were arrested during the demonstration, which Prime Minister Boris Johnson condemned as ‘racist thuggery’ and described as ‘mindless hooliganism’ by police.
A man, 28, was also arrested on suspicion of outraging public decency after photos showed a white protester apparently urinating next to the memorial dedicated to Pc Keith Palmer, the officer who was stabbed to death in the 2017 Westminster terror attack.