The BLM protestor hopes to break down the racist barriers and for the photograph of him carrying the counter-protestor to serve as a reminder that "we are all one race."
The Black Lives Matter demonstration in London on Saturday was the first time Patrick Hutchinson attended the ongoing worldwide protests against racism. Hutchinson and his friends—who are security and martial arts experts—were near Waterloo Bridge, in central London, when the mostly peaceful anti-racist demonstration turned into violent scuffles with far-right groups in the area. As clashes broke out all around, he emerged from the chaos carrying an injured counter-protester in a fireman's lift over his shoulder and made his way over to the police. "That's not what we do!" he yelled as he waded through the angry crowd still trying to get their hands on the injured man.
This powerful image of Hutchinson carrying the injured counter-protestor to safety has since gone viral on social media as many praised his show of selfless humanity and compassion. Speaking to Channel 4 News about his decision to step in, he explained: "His life was under threat, so I just went under, scooped him up, put him on my shoulders and started marching towards the police with him."
Dylan Martinez, the Reuters photographer who captured the now-viral snap of Hutchinson, revealed that the unidentified counter-protestor had injuries on his face after he was beaten up in a clash. "I saw a skirmish and someone falling to the ground," he said. "The crowd parted right in front of me. I was in the right place at the right time, and incredibly lucky from that point of view. He came towards me walking briskly."
BLM supporter who helped injured protester: 'If we hadn't intervened, I think he may have died' https://t.co/yhAOrXK2Ge— SkyNews (@SkyNews) June 14, 2020
Speaking to CNN about the incident, Hutchinson explained that when he saw the man lying on some stairs in the fetal position surrounded by protesters, he and his friends formed a cordon around him to protect him from more blows. As he took the injured man over his shoulder and wade his way through the crowd, he could still feel people trying to hit him, Hutchinson said. "I am carrying him, my friends are protecting myself and the man on my shoulder. He was still receiving blows, you can feel people trying to hit him," he recounted. "There were people trying to protect him at the same time carried him over to the police and I said here you are. One of them said 'thank you - you did a good thing there.'"
"My real focus was on avoiding a catastrophe, all of a sudden the narrative changes into 'Black Lives Matters, Youngsters Kill Protesters.' That was the message we were trying to avoid," he explained. Comparing his intervention with the lack of action taken by the Minneapolis police officers involved in George Floyd's death, Hutchinson remarked that had the other three men stopped Derek Chauvin from doing what he was doing, Floyd would still be alive today.
"We stopped somebody from being killed"— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) June 15, 2020
Patrick Hutchinson describes events behind the viral image of him carrying a man to safety during clashes in London on Saturdayhttps://t.co/kGzzoEIoGB pic.twitter.com/6xuQpCsxOr
"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 we did, George Floyd would be alive today," he said. "I just want equality, 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." Hutchinson added that he would like to break down the race barriers and for the photograph of him carrying the counter-protestor to serve as a reminder that "we are all one race."
'I didn’t even think twice about doing it... I didn’t see colour, I just saw a human being on the floor possibly coming to his end.'— ITV News (@itvnews) June 14, 2020
Patrick Hutchinson, who was pictured carrying a protester to safety, says he and his friends acted on instinct
Read more: https://t.co/gZco3Di7q7 pic.twitter.com/QSpb2i0rkI
"I want to see equality for everybody. I am a father, a grandfather and I would love to see my young children, my young grandchildren, my nieces, my nephews have a better world than I have lived in," Hutchinson said. "The world I live in has been better than my grandparents and my parents and hopefully we can continue until we have total equality for everyone."