Forest Gate ‘riot’: Elderly man calms protester amid violence at demo in east London

An elderly man attempted to calm a protester after violence erupted over the death of a young black father in east London.

Video footage shows the unnamed man embracing the youngster, who claims a police officer has just laughed in his face, saying: “Listen brother, I feel your pain.”

Demonstrators were in Newham demanding justice for Edir Frederico Da Costa, 25, known as Edson, who died in hospital six days after being detained by police on June 21. 

But the peaceful protest descended into chaos when clashes erupted overnight near Forest Gate police station, with angry crowds hurling bricks at officers amid the violent scenes on Sunday night.


Heartwarming: The moment a Muslim worshipper attempts to calm a protester in east London

The footage shows the elderly man trying to comfort the youngster who appeared frustrated with the way police were handling the situation.

The young man is heard saying: “Do you know who I am to him though? I’m his brother. His mum is my mum’s sister. His mum and my house are all… in my house today.

“And then there was this white police woman, she was laughing in my face. She was laughing in my face fam. And what, I’m not going to talk?”

Listening to his outrage, the elderly man replies: “I feel your pain. I’m sorry, give me a hug bruv,” in an attempt to settle the young man.

Six police officers were injured including four who were taken to hospital after the protest over Mr Da Costa, who had been stopped in a car by Met officers in Newham before his death. 

Bricks and other objects are thrown at police during violent protests in Forest Gate

In the same footage, a woman can be heard shouting: “They [the police] are killing off each and every one of our people. Each and every one”, as police surrounded the area.

“They’re killing all of us. Muslims, Christians, it doesn’t matter. As long as you’re black or coloured – they’re killing you. It’s f****** disgusting.”

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has launched investigation into the death of the young father, who was known to friends as Edson.

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