Death protest demonstrators `set fires and throw bricks’ as 14 officers hurt in clashes

Fourteen officers were injured – four needing hospital treatment – as they battled protesters who set fires and hurled bricks, bottles and fireworks at police in a protest over the death of a man following a traffic stop

Jun 26, 2017

Fourteen officers were injured – four needing hospital treatment – as they battled protesters who set fires and hurled bricks, bottles and fireworks at police in a protest over the death of a man following a traffic stop London`s Stratford bus station was evacuated as campaigners “demanding justice” for Edir Frederico Da Costa marched on Forest Gate police station on Sunday (June 25). Five arrests were made for assorted alleged offences including violent disorder and criminal damage. Two teenagers, aged 16 and 19, remain in custody while two 26-year-olds and a 22-year-old were released. Mr Da Costa died on June 21, six days after he was stopped in a car by Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) officers in Newham, east London. He was one of three people in the vehicle. Campaigners alleged the 25-year-old`s neck was broken and that he suffered other injuries in the stop. Mr Da Costa`s family further claims he was “brutally beaten” and left in a coma. The Independent Police Complaints Commission has launched an investigation and said a preliminary post-mortem, carried out on Thursday (June 22), indicated there were no spinal injuries caused by police. The incident on Sunday, which began in the afternoon, saw a peaceful protest turn ugly as Borough Commander Chief Superintendent Ian Larnder tried to engage with organisers in a bid to calm the crowd. He stood in the middle of a group of protesters answering their questions in a bid to reduce tensions. One protester rode his motorbike up to the police line and revved his engine in front of officers. Another motorcyclist turned his bike towards the officers and span his wheels so smoke blew towards them. The London Fire Brigade, protected by officers, hosed out a number of small blazes begun in litter bins. Public order-trained officers, including some from the MPS’ Territorial Support Group, were subsequently deployed to disperse the crowd and ensure the safety of the public. Family campaigners said the violence was not coming from them, and insisted it had been set up as a peaceful march. Chief Supt Larnder said on Monday (June 26):”Whilst we will always support the right for lawful protest, the events of last night cannot be justified. Not only were our officers confronted by violence, with several of them being injured, but local residents were severely disrupted. “Behaviour such as that seen overnight will not be tolerated and an investigation will begin to identify those individuals who targeted our officers.” After its investigation was launched, a spokesperson for the IPCC said: “Mr Da Costa was detained by police officers. During this interaction it is believed police officers used force and deployed CS spray. “Mr Da Costa became unwell, first aid was administered, an ambulance was called and he was taken to hospital. Tragically on Wednesday, June 21, Mr Da Costa died.” The IPCC added a second statement: “We’re aware of the unhelpful speculation concerning possible injuries Mr Da Costa had. We hope to release further information after meeting his family. “We would repeat at this stage the pathologist concluded there are no injuries to suggest severe force was used.” Chief Supt Larnder said: “All police officers are fully aware that they will be asked to account for their actions, officers are not exempt from the law and we would not wish to be. “I know that Edir`s family, friends and the wider community want answers, but it is important that the investigation is allowed to take place to establish the full facts of what happened before any conclusions are made.”

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