US violence not bringing change: Morrison

Scott Morrison says he doesn't want to see the violence in the US repeated here.
Scott Morrison says he doesn't want to see the violence in the US repeated here.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison does not believe violent protests in the United States will bring change after the shocking death of an African-American man.

America has been gripped by violence with protests boiling over after George Floyd died after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck while he was under arrest.

The Australian prime minister said the footage from the US was disturbing.

"I saw a good meme on the weekend - Martin Luther King didn't change anything by burning anything down or by looting any shops," he told 2GB on Monday.

Mr Morrison said video of the officer kneeling on Mr Floyd's neck was awful.

"As upsetting and terrible that the murder that took place - and it is shocking, that also just made me cringe - I just think to myself how wonderful a country is Australia."

He cautioned against similar demonstrations in Australia turning violent, with local protests planned for later this week.

"There's no need to import things happening in other countries here to Australia," Mr Morrison said.

"Australia is not the United States. The United States is a great country.

"They're a great friend of Australia and they're going through a difficult time. We wish them all the best as they deal with that."

Australian Associated Press