Three released following arrests at Forest Gate protest over the death of Edson Da Costa
- Credit: PA
Three people arrested during last night’s protests in Forest Gate over the death of a young father have been released.
A peaceful demonstration was held outside Forest Gate police station yesterday afternoon after Edir Frederico Da Costa, known as Edson, died in hospital days after the car he was travelling in was stopped by police.
But hours after moving to Stratford, a crowd – many of whom the police say were not involved in the original protest – returned to the police station where missiles were thrown at officers.
The contents of a number of litter bins in the Romford Road area were also set on fire.
Two men, aged 22 and 26, were released under investigation after they were arrested on suspicion of criminal damage while the third, also aged 26, was arrested on suspicion of violent disorder.
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Two others, a boy aged 16 and a man aged 19, are currently still in police custody.
Fourteen police officers were injured during the protest, four of whom were taken to hospital – including a sergeant who was knocked unconscious when an object struck his helmet. All have since been discharged.
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Borough Commander Ian Larnder said: “Whilst we will always support the right for lawful protest, the events of last night cannot be justified. Not only were our officers confronted by violence, with several of them being injured, but local residents were severely disrupted.
“Behaviour such as that seen overnight will not be tolerated and an investigation will begin to identify those individuals who targeted our officers.”
The original protest saw friends and supporters of the 25-year-old waving placards and chanting “Justice for Edson” and “Bring Edson back”.
His family have questioned the use of force and his cousin Jay Gomes, 23, told the Recorder the protest that Edson, from East Ham, had suffered a broken neck and brain damage among his injuries.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), who is investigating his death, has denied this claim and is currently looking into the use of force used by police.
In a statement issued via a solicitor, Edson’s family said they are “grateful for the support they have received” and are currently “considering what is right for them”, asking that this be respected.
They added: “What they need at this time from the public is assistance in finding witnesses and footage of what happened on Thursday night [June 15].”