Rashan Charles death: Family appeal for ‘peace on the streets’ after protest turns violent


The family of a black man who died after a police chase have made a fresh plea for “peace on the streets” following violent clashes in east London.

Demonstrators blocked Kingsland Road in Hackney with wheelie bins, mattresses and debris on Friday afternoon.

Bottles and fireworks were thrown at officers as the growing anger bubbled over into the night.

Rashan Charles was chased by police last Saturday and became ill after swallowing an object, the Met have said.

The 20-year-old died later in hospital.

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.

Mr Charles’ father Esa gathered with the family of Edson Da Costa – who died last month, six days after being detained by police – for a vigil organised by Stand Up To Racism.

Stafford Scott, who co-founded the Broadwater Farm Defence Campaign in 1985, stood next to Mr Charles and spoke on behalf of the family.

Directly addressing the young people who protested the night before, he said they understand their anger and frustration.

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

“But what the family knows is that taking it to the streets doesn’t give you justice,” he said.

Mr Scott said the family have found the best legal support they can and are now asking the community to “support them in their struggle” but with “peace on the streets”.

“No justice, no peace doesn’t mean violence – it means we will not watch this in silence,” he added on their behalf.

Shadow home secretary and Hackney North and Stoke Newington MP Diane Abbott told the crowd she felt it was important to attend the vigil to “show her support” for the families and parents of Mr Da Costa and Mr Charles.

“That is the call that every parent dreads. The call that tells you that your young child has died in those sorts of circumstances,” she said.

Ms Abbott said she agreed with what was said about the “importance of peace on the streets”, and added: “Violence is not the answer.

“But I am here to assure the parents and assure the community that I will stand by the parents in their fight for the truth.

“Most of us will have seen the video and there are questions to be answered, and I will not rest until those questions are answered.”

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) watchdog is investigating the events leading to Mr Charles’ death.

Those in the crowd at the vigil could be heard chanting “no justice, no peace” as they called for the police officer who arrested Mr Charles to be suspended.

Ginario Da Costa, the father of Edson, also spoke to the crowd of more than 50, and told the Charles family they “know what they are going through”.

“My son also suffered at the hands of the police and, like Rashan, is no longer with us today,” he said.

“We will continue to fight for justice, not only for justice for Edson and Rashan – for all those young black people, many who are being killed in police custody.”

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

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

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



Source : http://www.itv.com/news/2017-07-29/rashan-charles-death-family-appeal-for-peace-on-the-streets-after-protest-turns-violent/

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