‘Officers are not exempt from the law’ says Newham police chief after death of East Ham man following police stop

Edson died in hospital. Picture: Submitted

Edson died in hospital. Picture: Submitted - Credit: Archant

Newham’s top ranking police officer has said his staff “will be asked to account for their actions”, after a young father died following a police stop.

Edir Frederico Da Costa, known as Edson, was one of three people travelling in a car which was stopped in Woodcocks near Tollgate Road, Beckton, on June 15, at around 10pm.

As officers tried to detain the 25-year-old from East Ham, they used force and CS gas and he became unwell.

The father-of-one, who was expecting another child with his girlfriend, was rushed to hospital in an ambulance and remained in a critical condition until Wednesday, when he sadly died.

Today Newham Police’s borough commander Ch Supt Ian Larnder released a statement on the incident.

He said: “First and foremost, I would like to express my deepest sympathies to Edir’s family and friends at what must be an extremely difficult time for them.

“Whatever the circumstances, the death of a young man and father is always a tragedy and my condolences go out to his loved-ones.”

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Ch Supt Larnder said it is “absolutely right” that whenever anyone dies after police contact “the full circumstances are investigated to establish exactly what happened”.

He continued: “To this end, an independent investigation has been launched by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

“All police officers are fully aware that they will be asked to account for their actions – officers are not exempt from the law and we would not wish to be.

“I know that Edir’s family, friends and the wider community want answers, but it is important that the investigation is allowed to take place to establish the full facts of what happened before any conclusions are made.”

Ch Supt Larnder warned people from not speculating on social media, and to follow the regular updates from the IPCC.

He added: “As is right, the IPCC are conducting a thorough investigation of what happened.

“This will take time, but it is important that we all remain calm so that this can be done and so that Edir’s family are given the answers that they need and deserve.”

The IPCC today released a statement with findings from the pathologist, to correct “some misinformation that is being widely shared on social media”.

It said: “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.”