Lancashire Police: 'No crimes committed' after Blackpool plane carried 'white lives matter' banner over Man City's Etihad Stadium

Police investigating an incident which saw a Blackpool plane fly over the Etihad Stadium in Manchester with a  banner sayinge ‘White Lives Matter Burnley’ have said no crime was committed.

By James Graves
Wednesday, 24th June 2020, 4:08 pm
Updated Wednesday, 24th June 2020, 4:10 pm
The banner flown over the stadium on Monday
The banner flown over the stadium on Monday

Lancashire Police launched an investigation after the Cessna aircraft, believed to have been operated by the firm Air Ads based at Blackpool Airport, flew above the Etihad Stadium just after the game between Manchester City and Burnley kicked off on Monday night.

Ch Supt Russ Procter from the force said yesterday that no crime was committed.

He said: “Today Lancashire Constabulary has been in liaison with Greater Manchester Police, the Aviation Authority and the Crown Prosecution Service regards the ‘White Lives Matter’ banner that was flown over the Etihad Stadium last night.

“After assessing all the information available surrounding this incident we have concluded that there are no criminal offences that have been disclosed at this time.

“We will continue to work with our partners at the football club and within the local authority.”

The airport, run by Blackpool Council, announced on Tuesday that banner-towing operations were suspended with immediate effect.

A statement by airport manager Stephen Smith condemning the incident was published on Facebook but has since been removed. The airport was approached for comment yesterday.

The incident follows all footballers in England’s top division league displaying ‘Black Lives Matter’ on their shirts to show support for the movement for racial equality after George Floyd, a 46-year-old black American, died after a white policeman knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes in the USA on May 25.