Violent protests against police brutality have erupted in east London over the death of a 25-year-old black man who died from wounds allegedly sustained during his arrest by police. Two police officers were injured in the clashes with rioters.
After holding a minute of silence Sunday evening, a large crowd of activists holding Black Lives Matter signs went on a rampage in the vicinity of Forest Gate police station near the spot where Edir Frederico Da Costa was detained by police on Thursday, June 15. His family alleges that the 25-year-old black man had died after being mistreated by the Metropolitan Police.
Eventually bricks were thrown at riot police lines. Street fires were also lit outside Stratford bus station and outside the police precinct.
Shouting, “We want justice,” and “No justice, no peace, no racist police,” the protesters stood face-to-face with police lines in full riot gear outside the station.
Meanwhile, firefighters rushed to the scene to extinguish the flames.
“A small number of roadway fires – involving the contents of litter bins – were started. These were dealt with by the London Fire Brigade. We are not aware of any damage to local buildings,” the Metropolitan Police said in a statement, according to the Guardian.
The violence was quelled just before 11pm local time. While police made no arrests, two officers were injured in the confrontation, the Guardian reported. The officers have been taken to a local hospital with a facial and a head injury, respectively.
Da Costa, known as Edson, slipped into the coma after being brutally beaten by police, his relatives allege, claiming that he suffered spinal and head injuries on June 15. Edson died six days later.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has launched an investigation into his death.
“Mr. Da Costa was detained by police officers. During this interaction, it is believed police officers used force and deployed CS spray,” a spokesman for the IPCC said after the launch of the investigation. “Mr. Da Costa became unwell, first aid was administered, an ambulance was called and he was taken to hospital. Tragically on Wednesday, 21 June, Mr. Da Costa died.”
Thursday’s post-mortem examination of Da Costa body, however, found no spinal injuries that could have been caused by police brutality.
Despite the coroner’s conclusions, the UK Black Lives Matter movement, using the #Justice4Edson hashtag, organized Sunday’s demonstration to demand answers.