Mitt Romney takes part in protest supporting Black Lives Matter near White House

Allan Smith and Haley Talbot and Ali Vitali

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, joined demonstrators Sunday marching to the White House in protest of George Floyd's death in the custody of Minneapolis police.

About 1,000 protesters marched through Washington.

Asked why it was important for him to be present at the protest, Romney, who was wearing a face covering, said: "We need a voice against racism. We need many voices against racism and against brutality."

"We need to stand up and say black lives matter," added Romney, who was marching with a Christian group.

President Donald Trump has sharply and repeatedly criticized the demonstrations and called for state and local officials to crack down on them.

Romney had repeatedly tweeted about Floyd's death in recent days, and he shared a photo of his father, former Michigan Gov. George Romney, marching in a civil rights demonstration in the late 1960s.

"No Americans should fear enmity and harm from those sworn to protect us," Romney tweeted last week. "The death of George Floyd must not be in vain: Our shock and outrage must grow into collective determination to extinguish forever such racist abuse."