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Campaigners confront police over death of man in east London

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has launched an investigation into the treatment of Edir Frederico Da Costa, who died on June 21.

Campaigners shouting “we want justice” have faced off with police in a protest over the death of a man after a traffic stop.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has launched an investigation into the treatment of Edir Frederico Da Costa, 25, who died on June 21, six days after he was stopped in a car by Metropolitan Police officers in Woodcocks, Beckton, in Newham, east London.

Protesters, some carrying Black Lives Matter posters and others with homemade placards which read “Justice for Edson + How Many More???”, stood in front of a line of uniformed officers at Stratford bus station, east London.

They allege the 25-year-old, known by friends as Edson, was “brutally beaten”.

Borough Commander Superintendent Ian Larnder stood in the middle of a group of protesters trying to answer their questions and calm tensions.

Campaigners claim that Mr Da Costa’s neck was broken and he suffered head and other injuries after he was stopped in a car, containing three people, by Met officers.

The IPCC said a preliminary post-mortem, carried out on Thursday, indicated there were no spinal injuries caused by police.

Transport for London said that from just before 6pm there had been “a number of bus diversions at police request” due to the demonstration at Stratford.

One protester rode his motorbike up to the police line and deliberately revved his engine in front of the officers.

A protester revs his motorcycle in front of police (Lauren Hurley/PA)

Another motorcyclist turned his bike towards the officers and span his wheels so that smoke blew towards them.

A Met spokeswoman said they are “aware of the protest”, adding: “An appropriate policing plan is in place.”

A flurry of angry comments such as “you are protecting them” and “you have told us what you can’t do, now tell us what you can do” were hurled at Mr Larnder as members of the crowd pressed him about alleged police brutality.

A protester holds a 'Black Lives Matter' placard (Lauren Hurley/PA)

More questions and disbelieving comments drowned him out as he told the largely black crowd: “I am here because l care deeply about what is going on.”

He also said: “Police officers are all accountable to the law, they are being investigated …

“I genuinely feel for you. I will ring the IPCC and ask them what are you doing.”

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.”

The crowd later began marching 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 and a cordon of uniformed officers stood outside the building.

At least a dozen officers wearing helmets stood shoulder-to-shoulder and two-person deep at the station entrance as tempers flared, with swearing and chanting from the campaigners.

They held a calm minute’s silence at 8.40pm with each person holding a clenched fist in the air. It was broken with applause, revving of motorbikes and then booming music.


From Belfast Telegraph