NEWS

Forest Gate Protest Leaves Six Police Officers Injured After Demonstration Over Death Of Edir Frederico Da Costa

The demonstration was over the death of a man after he was stopped by officers.

26/06/2017 08:13 | Updated 26 June 2017

Six police officers were injured in a violent clash with protestors in east London over the death of a man following a traffic stop.

Fires were lit and bricks thrown during the unrest in Newham on Sunday evening, in which demonstrators were calling for justice for Edir Frederico Da Costa who died on June 21, six days after being pulled over by police. 

On Monday, the Metropolitan Police said that four of the six injured officers were taken to hospital, including a male police sergeant who suffered facial injuries and a female police constable who suffered head injuries.

Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Tensions spiralled on the streets of east London following the death of 25-year-old Edir Frederico Da Costa
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
A bin burns near Forest Gate police station on Sunday evening

The force said it was not aware of any members of the public being injured or any property suffering significant damage.

Four people were arrested, one on suspicion of disorder offences and three others on suspicion of arson and criminal damage.

They have all been taken to east London police stations where they remain in custody.

After being stopped by police in Woodcocks, Beckton, campaigners claim 25-year-old Da Costa’s neck was broken and he was “brutally beaten”.

But the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), which is investigating, said a preliminary post-mortem on Thursday indicated there were no spinal injuries caused by police.

Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
A man is carried by riot police following clashes

In a statement released last week the IPCC said: “The preliminary post mortem found that Mr Da Costa did not suffer a broken neck, or any other spinal injury during his interaction with the police. It found he did not suffer a broken collarbone or bleeding to the brain. Rigorous investigations into the cause of Mr Da Costa’s death are continuing, including into the use of force.

“We are releasing this information now out of concern at the rapid spread of false and potentially inflammatory information. Our robust and independent investigation will seek to explain the circumstances around Mr Da Costa’s death. In the meantime, false information could have very dangerous consequences, so please don’t share it.”

Protesters, some carrying Black Lives Matter posters and others with homemade placards which read “Justice for Edson + How Many More???”, marched from Forest Gate to Stratford, the Press Association reported.

Borough Commander Superintendent Ian Larnder earlier tried to calm tensions as he answered questions, telling the crowd: “I am here because l care deeply about what is going on.”

Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
A demonstrator stands in front of riot police
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Riot police with dogs assemble in the road

A flurry of angry comments such as “you are protecting them” were hurled at Larnder as members of the crowd pressed him about alleged police brutality.

“Police officers are all accountable to the law, they are being investigated,” he said.

When one of the campaigners asked if the officers involved in the incident were still working, he said: “I am pretty sure they have not been suspended but removed from operational duties.”

Protesters faced off against a line of uniformed officers at Stratford bus station, forcing some buses to be diverted, before marching back to Forest Gate police station shouting “we want justice” and “justice for Edson” to the beat of a drum.

The crowd arrived at the station at around 8.15pm where they were greeted by a cordon of uniformed officers at the entrance.

PA Wire/PA Images
Campaigners insisted the event had been set up as a peaceful march

The atmosphere calmed as a minute’s silence was held at 8.40pm with the crowd holding clenched fists in the air.

But tempers flared again as the skies darkened and riot police wearing helmets and carrying shields pressed forward in a line from the police station at around 9.35pm.

Bricks were ripped from a wall and thrown at officers while firefighters, protected by police, hosed out a fire which had been set in a bin in Richmond Road.

Bins were also set alight near a McDonald’s in Romford Road, and a cordon of police, some with dogs, pressed demonstrators further down the street.

Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
The aftermath of the clash on Forest Gate's Romford Road

Family campaigners insisted the event had been set up as a peaceful march and they did not condone the violence.

Suggest a correction