Edson Da Costa protest: Stand-off between riot police and protesters in Stratford
PUBLISHED: 19:41 25 June 2017 | UPDATED: 10:15 27 June 2017
Demonstrators have been in a stand-off with police outside Stratford bus station after protesting about a young father who died after being detained by police.
Edir Da Costa, known as Edson, died in hospital following a police stop on June 15 during which officers used force and CS gas against him.
His death is being investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
The father-of-one’s girlfriend is pregnant with his second child and the pair had discussed marriage just hours before Edson’s death, according to her cousin.
Earlier today, friends and supporters of the 25-year-old waved #BlackLivesMatter placards and shouted “Justice for Edson” and “Bring Edson back” as they walked along a police-marked Romford Road from Forest Gate Police station to Stratford.
His family have questioned the use of force and his cousin Jay Gomes, 23, told the Recorder earlier at the protest that Edson had suffered a broken neck and brain damage among his injuries.
The IPCC has denied this claim and is currently looking into the use of force used by police.
This afternoon, there have been angry and tense scenes at the protest from some members of the Newham community.
People have been congregating around Stratford bus station next to a large police presence. Passengers are being advised to use alternative transport after it was evacuated earlier.
Helicopters have been circulating the scene in Stratford and earlier a police van was surrounded by livid participants.
A family member told the Recorder yesterday by email that they did not want to be involved in today’s events as they were worried it might get out of hand.
Protestor Wissam Pearce, 25, said: “The only way we are going to get justice is from actions like this. The people get to demand their own justice.”
Focus E15 campaigner, Jasmin Stone, said the Newham community felt let down by what had happened.
She said: “I think it is important for everyone to show their support for the family.”
A Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said: “We are aware of the protesters outside Forest Gate Police station. No arrests have been made.”
A spokeswoman for the IPCC said its existing statement from June 23 still stood.
It states: “The preliminary post mortem found that Mr Da Costa did not suffer a broken neck, or any other spinal injury during his interaction with the police.
“It found he did not suffer a broken collarbone or bleeding to the brain.
“Rigorous investigations into the cause of Mr Da Costa’s death are continuing, including into the use of force.”