Rashan Charles Peaceful Protest Was Separate From Street Violence In East London, Police Say

Kingsland Road was blocked and fires lit.

Violence on the streets of east London was “separate” from a protest over the death of a black man following a police chase, Scotland Yard has said.

A policeman was injured and a cyclist was knocked from his bike and assaulted after demonstrators blocked Kingsland Road in Hackney with wheelie bins, mattresses and debris at around 3.40pm on Friday, the Press Association reported.

A makeshift roadblock on Kingsland Road in east London on Friday night
A makeshift roadblock on Kingsland Road in east London on Friday night
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Officers retreated as bottles and fireworks were hurled by demonstrators following the death of 20-year-old Rashan Charles.

Shadow home secretary, and Hackney North and Stoke Newington MP, Diane Abbott said the anger and upset is “understandable”, adding: “But Rashan’s family have explicitly spoken out against hostile actions. We must respect their wishes and any protests must be peaceful.”

The Metropolitan Police said a 17-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily over the disorder, while an officer, who suffered an eye injury, remains fit for duty.

Detective Superintendent Claire Crawley said: “The disorder of last night was separate from the peaceful protest at Stoke Newington police station that was held earlier that day.

Riot police at the scene on Friday
Riot police at the scene on Friday
PA Wire/PA Images

“Thankfully, nobody was seriously injured, but there was inconvenience to local residents and road users and damage caused to vehicles, a cash machine and a number of windows.

“We will always support the right to lawful protest but behaviour such as that seen last night cannot be tolerated.”

A group of protesters barricaded the road, stopping cyclists and motorists from passing, while some, wearing masks, jumped on to a lorry which drove through and clung to its wing mirrors as it hit the bins lined up in its path.

As night fell, mattresses and bins forming part of the barricade were set on fire and riot police moved in.

Angry clashes broke out at around 10pm, as scores of missiles were launched at police as they attempted to disperse the group.

Debris lies scattered on Kingsland Road
Debris lies scattered on Kingsland Road
PA Wire/PA Images

Restaurants and bars pulled down their shutters, locking customers inside, as the protesters were pushed down Kingsland High Street and beyond Dalston Kingsland station.

Police said crowds dispersed at around 11.40pm.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) watchdog is investigating the events leading to the death of Charles last Saturday.

Unverified footage on social media appeared to show at least one police officer attempting to restrain him on the floor of a shop at 1.45am, close to where the protest was being held. He died later in hospital.

Stafford Scott, speaking on behalf of the Charles famil, gave a joint statement with Ginario Da Costa, the father of Edson Da Costa, outside Stoke Newington police station on Saturday.

In a video published by the Hackney Gazette, Scott said: “We understand your anger. We understand your frustration.

“Don’t feel that the family don’t feel the frustration and the anger too.

“But taking it to the streets isn’t going to give you justice. Burning down your own homes, burning down your neighbourhood, is not going to give you justice.”

Da Costa died on June 21, six days after he was detained by police during a traffic stop.

Campaigners claim Da Costa’s neck was broken and that he was “brutally beaten” after a car, containing three people, was halted in Woodcocks, Beckton.

His death is also being investigated by the IPCC, which has revealed that an early pathology report shows he had “a number of packages in his throat” when he died.


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