Police Scotland has condemned racism as it issued advice for those planning to protest over the death of George Floyd.
Chief constable Iain Livingstone said he has been left “shocked and distressed” following recent events in the United States.
Mr Floyd, an African American man, died in police custody in the US state of Minnesota – sparking huge protests across the country.
The 46-year-old, whose death was filmed by onlookers, could be heard pleading for air as a police officer was seen kneeling on his neck in the city of Minneapolis.
He said: “Like many people in Scotland, indeed across the world, I am shocked and distressed about events in the United States.
“Racism in all its forms is disgraceful and unacceptable. Those events do not reflect our style of policing in Scotland and we continue to value the strong bond of trust with all our citizens and communities.”
‘Like many people in Scotland, indeed across the world, I am shocked and distressed about events in the United States.’Chief constable Iain Livingstone
One of the officers involved in Mr Floyd’s death, Derek Chauvin, was charged with third degree murder and manslaughter and is due in court next week.
Hundreds of protests and marches have sprung up across the United States and other parts of the world.
Chief constable Livingstone urged those planning to protest to continue following the Scottish Governments coronavirus regulations.
He said: ”We are aware of a number of planned events in Scotland in the days ahead.
“We would encourage everyone to continue to follow the Scottish Government’s regulations and guidance on meeting outdoors and will engage with organisers to minimise any risks to public safety or health.”
Earlier on Tuesday, Nicola Sturgeon asked Scots protesting over the death of Mr Floyd to find an alternative to physical gatherings.
Speaking at her daily briefing in Edinburgh, the First Minister said she sympathised with those looking to protest but warned of the risks from large gatherings during the pandemic.
The First Minister said they should look at alternatives to tackle the spread of coronavirus.
She said: “Right now, it is the case, unfortunately and regrettably, that large gatherings of people could pose a risk to health and indeed to life.
“Unfortunately, that’s the case whether it is a peaceful protest or a football match or any other gathering where people are coming together in close proximity.
“What I would say to those who want to protest, and I say this as an ally and supporter, is that we need to find ways of allowing people to make their voices heard and to make the points that many of us want to be made and to be heard right now but to do so in a way that is safe and is not putting people protesting or wider communities at risk.”